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Doctor of Philosophy of Trinity College 
in the University of Cambridge 

P.O. Box 35, Southampton, England 

© Harold Aspden, 1972 

All rights reserved 

ISBN 85056 0039 (Cloth Edition) 
ISBN 85056 0047 (Paper Edition) 

First published March 1972 

Printed in Great Britain by 
The Camelot Press Ltd, London and Soatltampton 


To my wife, Wendy, for her 
continued understanding 


Introduction 1 

1 Nature's Unseen World 3 

2 'The Flight of Thunderbolts' 8 

3 Discovering Gravitation 15 

4 The Lodestone 24 

5 The Origin of the Solar System 41 

6 The Perturbation of Venus 54 

7 Microcosmic Foundations 60 

8 The Law of Force 73 

9 Boundaries of Relativity 82 

10 Dirac's Electron 92 

1 1 The Nature of Mass 100 

12 The Aether in Evidence 110 

13 Action at a Distance 128 

14 The Nuclear Aether 139 

15 The Earth's Electricity 144 

16 The Cosmic Aether 153 

appendix : The Law of Electrodynamics 161 

index 163 


The old foundations of scientific thought are becoming unintel- 
ligible. Time, space, matter, material, ether, electricity, mechanism, 
organism, configuration, structure, pattern, function, all require 
reinterpretation. What is the sense of talking about a mechanical 
explanation when you do not know what you mean by mechanics? 

The paradox is now fully established that the utmost abstractions are 
the true weapons with which to control our thought of concrete fact. 

So said the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead in his Science 
and the Modern World, 1925. But surely weapons are not needed 
to control belief in what is true in Nature. Abstraction can surely 
have no lasting place in science. Physicists have had rather more 
to assimilate than has been possible and have lapsed a little 
into a world of abstraction. Whitehead must be wrong. The 
old foundations of scientific thought were intelligible to their 
creators. To say that they were becoming unintelligible merely 
implies developing weaknesses in the minds of later generations 
of scientists. There was impatience at the difficulties of fathom- 
ing and charting that sea of energy permeating space — the 
aether. And so, many pretended that the aether does not exist 
and did so by abstract mathematical formulations. History will 
one day show that they were wrong. In this work we will 
explore the modern evidence proving that the aether is a 
reality. We will proceed without mathematics and we will attack 
abstraction, and, in particular, we will attack Whitehead's 
problem of understanding mechanics, by explaining the 
nature of mass. 

A mathematical analysis is provided in the author's book 
Physics without Einstein, but this new work goes beyond the 
scope of that book by incorporating the results of f urther research 
and exposing some weaknesses in existing theories. A solution 
to the mysteries of the creation of the solar system is an impor- 
tant original feature presented in this work. It is anticipated that 


the evidence provided will convince the reader that the ever- 
present aether deserves his attention, but if the reader is left 
with doubts it is hoped that this book will stimulate him to voice 
them and to seek to resolve them constructively. The true 
form of Nature is already set. It needs imagination and analysis 
and a will to defend as well as criticize any theories put forward, 
if we are to find a way to comprehend the sub-structure of 
Nature. In this book the author has been ready to criticize and 
has offered much that can be criticized, and if the reader is 
left with doubts he did not have before, this book will have 
served him well. 


Nature s Unseen World 

There are innumerable niceties concerning notions, relations, 
instants, formalities, quiddities and haecceities, which no one can pry 
into, unless he has eyes that can penetrate the thickest darkness, and 
there can see things that have no existence whatever. 

Erasmus, Moriae Encomium, 1509 

Erasmus preceded Galileo, Descartes and Newton, men who 
founded new disciplines leading us to classical physics, the 
physics of an era of unquestioned belief in the existence of an 
aether. This era passed at the beginning of the twentieth century. 
The ideas of Einstein, Heisenberg and Pauli have changed our 
physics. We have reverted to principles, concepts which to 
Erasmus would be notions, relations and formalities. Our 
physics are now founded upon abstract philosophical dogma, 
whereas physical phenomena are still governed by an all- 
pervading environmental influence which, as it must have a 
source, signifies the existence of an aether. Because his eyes can- 
not penetrate the thickest darkness, the scientist of today cannot 
see what exists in apparently empty space, but he feels its effect 
and should be ever-conscious of its existence. The cosmos is 
linked by space and so space must be examined to find the 
links between the phenomena of our universe. 

Understanding the cosmos provides an exacting challenge. 
But it is easy to find a starting point. Let us review some words 
quoted from the book by Lincoln Barnett entitled The Universe 
and Dr. Einstein:* 

Today most newspaper readers know vaguely that Einstein had 
something to do with the atomic bomb; beyond that his name is 
simply a synonym for the abstruse. While his theories form part of 

* Page 12 of second revised edition, Harper and Row, New York, 1957. 


the body of modern science, many of them are not yet part of the 
modern curriculum. It is not surprising therefore that many a college 
graduate still thinks of Einstein as a kind of mathematical surrealist 
rather than as the discoverer of certain cosmic laws of immense 
importance in man's slow struggle to understand physical reality. He 
may not realise that Relativity, over and above its scientific import, 
comprises a major philosophical system which augments and 
illumines the reflections of the great epistemologists— Locke, 
Berkeley, and Hume. Consequently he has very little notion of the 
vast, arcane, and mysteriously ordered universe in which he dwells. 

Clearly, wc must start with Einstein's Relativity. Yet, 
where will this lead us? Will we follow like sheep into the 
complexity of a philosophical system and be hopelessly lost 
in a world of confusion? Let us avoid indoctrination which may 
cause us to make our scientific evaluations on the basis of 
aesthetic appreciation. It is not uncommon for scientists to 
describe Relativity by the use of the term 'elegant', but the 
truths of Nature arc all too often inelegant and if we arc to be 
objective we should favour simplicity rather than complexity. 
Disorder may come from order. Complexity may come from 
simplicity. The fundamental structure from which we are formed 
may therefore be simple, and should be assumed so in our 
initial enquiries. The world wc experience is one of three dimen- 
sions. It is, in its structural geometrical concept, rather simple. 
It can be visualized. It is experienced and, in this sense, it must 
be real. Yet, Relativity would have us believe in a different world, 
a world of four space dimensions interlinked by time. Relativity 
concerns 'notions, relations, instants . . . which no one can pry 
into, unless he . . . can see things that have no existence what- 
ever.' These may seem to be words of a heretic but, in the spirit 
of Erasmus, we will forge ahead with this assertion as a challenge 
to the existing disorder of things. 

Do we have any allies in this pursuit? A recently published 
book by Harald Nordenson has critized the fundamental 
foundations of Einstein's theory.* In the final reflections in this 
work Nordenson writes: 

As I have criticized Einstein very heavily in this book I am anxious to 
point out that my criticism applies to his philosophical reasonings 
* Relaliiity Time and Reality, Allen and Unwin, London, 1969. 

nature's unseen world 


and especially those of epistemological character. On the other hand 
I have the greatest respect for his eminent contributions in other 
domains of mathematics and physics. 

I have often met persons, especially outside Sweden, who have 
expressed their astonishment that Einstein was not awarded the 
Nobel Prize for his Theory of Relativity, which many people consider 
as one of the most outstanding achievements of this century. As a 
member of the Swedish Academy of Science which distributes the 
Nobel Prizes of physics I am on the other hand very glad that this 
was not done, since the Theory of Relativity is not physics but 
philosophy and in my opinion poor philosophy. 

Nordenson has attacked the logical foundations of Einstein's 
theory. He has presented persuasive reasons, which we need 
not review here. Our object is to portray reality and replace the 
abstract, a point which is singularly pertinent if we look at 
the review which Nordenson's book attracted from the British 
Journal for the Philosophy of Science (August 1970): 

The author of the book under review is led to the drastic conclusion 
that Relativity Theory is logically incoherent, contains incon- 
sistencies and must be rejected, even though he admits we have 
nothing to put in its place. 

It seems appropriate to mention that in September 1970 
the Review Editor of this very journal wrote to the publishers 
of the present writer's book Physics without Einstein explaining 
the difficulty of finding a reviewer. About the book he wrote: 

We noted its unusual interest and decided that we should like to 
review it in our columns. Unfortunately we cannot do this if we 
cannot find a reviewer, and so far all the five persons approached 
have been unable to review the book for us. 

It would seem that the modern physicist is so specialized 
in the physics of today that he has lost the aptitude to adapt 
to new ideas. Perhaps, however, we should be referring only 
to the philosophers of science. Unable to adapt to new concepts 
but unwilling to reject the old unless we have something to 
substitute, the philosophers appears locked in a state of mental 
stagnation. Relativity is sacrosanct. 

The rclativistic method is so entrenched that few writers are 
able to secure publication for their alternative ideas. Few readers 


can assimilate what is presented to them in texts on Relativity, 
but the establishment has ordained that Relativity shall be the 
accepted doctrine. To quote from a publisher's summary of a 
recent work on gravitation: 

This book is a review of recent research developments pertaining 
to the theory of gravitation. After consultation with many scientists 
throughout the world working in relativity theory, the most impor- 
tant topics being worked on today were selected for inclusion in the 

Someone has decided, it seems, that only Relativity can lead 
us to understanding gravitation. 

Our challenge, therefore, is not merely presented by the 
cosmos. Mankind has inertia just as docs mass. The challenge 
in the quest for ultimate truths is to confront this barrier 
presented by man himself. Later in this work we will consider 
the nature of gravitation. Leading professors have expressed 
themselves on this subject. Hoyle (1964) wrote:! 

There is no such thing as gravitation apart from geometry ... the 
geometrical relationship between different localities is the pheno- 
menon of gravitation. 

On the same subject, Bondi (1963) wrote :| 

Gravity is a peculiar force and thus rightly described in a very 
special way. 

Our starting point could be Relativity, but what prospect of 
lasting success? Perhaps that path will lead us to dispose 
of the cosmos as some mathematical concept devoid of real 
form and essentially peculiar. It seems better to retrace some of 
the ideas of antiquity and examine how our basic ideas of the 
cosmos developed. We must look at the problem of the void 
in which we are immersed. Either there is some physical sub- 
stance filling all space or there is not. If there is, then it must 
yield its secrets if we pry into this unseen world with enough 

* Gravitation: An Introduction to Current Research, Wiley. 

f 'A New Theory of Gravitation' by Hoyle, pp. 19-26 in 1964 BBC Publication 
entitled A New Kind of Physics. 

% 'Acceleration and Gravity' by Bondi, pp. 5-12 in 1963 BBC Publication 
entitled Relativity Today. 

nature's unseen world 


imagination and conviction. Eventually, we must discover the 
elements of its structure and have enough verification from the 
methods of physical science. If the void has no substance, it 
has no existence. It can provide no links, no metric structure, 
nothing by which the coherent properties of physical science 
can be related. We are left to philosophize. Mathematical 
formulations are the creation of our minds. They cannot provide 
an aether in themselves. They can describe an aether if one exists 
in Nature. In this work, therefore, our starting point must be a 
firm belief in the existence of a medium filling the heavenly 
void. The aether has to be real. If we fail to succeed then we leave 
the task to others in the future who may have more luck in 
fathoming this vital secret of Nature. We can pacify ourselves 
by diverting to philosophy. We can embark on the Relativity 
journey and eventually be drugged by notions which cause us to 
lose all sense of time. But let us see where we arrive in this pur- 

Modern science has presented many facts to us which we can 
understand in terms of our physics, but many of the problems 
with which the ancients wrestled are unsolved to this day. It is 
these problems which are important in any effort to under- 
stand the cosmic world. 


'The Flight of Thunderbolts' 1 

This was the title of a book written just a few years ago by Sir 
Basil Schonland.* It tells of the thunderbolts, a phenomenon 
which is as much a part of our cosmic world today as it was 
when our forebears saw it as a weapon of their Gods. 

Ignorance of the scientific foundation of lightning did for a 
period, it seems, enhance one's chances of death. Schonland 
describes how in early times in Europe, man, aware that light- 
ning was an act of God, sought to protect himself by prayer. It 
was usual to supplement prayer by the violent ringing of church 
bells and, accordingly, bell ringing became a practice during 
thunderstorms. Lightning has such an affinity for church steeples 
that this custom resulted in tragedy. Schonland quotes a book 
published in Munich in 1784 giving the data that in 33 years, 
103 bell-ringers had been killed in this way. This was, of course, 
before the implementation of the remedy which Benjamin 
Franklin had found for protecting buildings from the effects of 
lightning. He discovered that lightning was merely a flash of 
electricity which could be diverted harmlessly to ground by the 
use of a lightning conductor. 

Lack of true knowledge of the physical world can be a 
source of unnecessary hardship to mankind. It is interesting to 
quote from Schonland thus: 

Between 1926 and 1930 three accusations against witch-doctors 
concerning crimes . . . which involved the control of lightning as a 
guided missile, were brought before the native courts of the Kgatta 
tribe in the Bechuanaland Protectorate. One was a charge of actual 
murder by lightning; the accused pleaded guilty and admitted that he 
had successfully directed a lightning flash to kill another man. The 
other two cases were charges of malicious damage to property, both 

* The Wight of Thunderbolts, Clarendon Press, 1964, p. 4. 

'THE 1 light of thunderbolts' 9 

of the accused having set huts alight by directed lightning. All were 
found guilty and punished; the confessed lightning murderer (to 
make the punishment fit the crime) was, by order of the presiding 
chief, severely branded in the mouth with a piece of burning wood. 

We can discount this as ignorance or lack of civilization, but 
surely ignorance is relative and we too will be judged ignorant 
by future generations. Our modern knowledge of these destruc- 
tive phenomena of Nature is not as great as many may believe. 
The subject of thunderballs, an apparent by-product of thunder- 
bolts, has been under scrutiny in the journal Nature* in 1970: 

In some parts of the world, earthquakes are often accompanied by 
ball lightning, stroke lightning and sheet lightning. The only causal 
connection that seems possible is that seismic strains of the earth- 
quakes cause an electric field in the air, which in turn produces ball 
lightning and stroke and sheet lightning. 

It would seem that we do not yet understand the processes 
by which the electric origins of lightning are explained. Light- 
ning is electricity, but how is lightning generated? There are 
conventional explanations, but it seems that they are inadequate 
to explain what happens in earthquake conditions. More will 
be said about this later, but here we are confronted with the 
problem of ball lightning, and this may not simply be dismissed 
as electricity. 

We have several reports of ball lightning floating for several seconds 
down the aisles of metallic passenger aircraft, as well as into homes. 

This is quoted from a paper by Altschuler and his colleagues, 
writing from the High Altitude Observatory, National Center 
for Atmospheric Research, Boulder in USA.''" The authors also 
mentioned observations of lightning balls which glow red, one 
which measured about 60 cm in diameter, moved into the ground 
and dug a trench, and another which moved into the water in a 
rain barrel and dispersed itself heating the water. Analysis of 
data showed that the balls have a very large energy density which 
defies explanation. Their energy is released non-explosively. 
They can move into objects carrying their energy into the core 
of the substance. They appear able to float without inducing 
convection effects, as if buoyantly supported in space. They are 

* Nature, Vol. 228, p. 759, 1970. t Nature, Vol. 228, p. 545, 1970. 




stable and display certain electrical effects as well as generating 
acoustic, visible, infrared and ultraviolet radiation. It is 
evident that if they were to move into the human body there 
could be fatal consequences, but what are they? 

Seven years earlier, in 1963, D. J. Ritchie of the Bendix 
Corporation in the United States wrote a paper* concluding: 

No matter what may prove ultimately to be the proper explanation 
of the phenomenon in nature, the manifold directions of research into 
ball lightning are opening new possibilities for the service of mankind. 

His paper was prefaced with the statement: 

As with unidentified flying objects, the origins as well as the existence 
of ball lightning have, in the past, been extremely controversial, with 
some authorities insisting that such a phenomenon did not exist. 
However, not only has recent work corroborated the existence of ball 
lightning, but many data, both analytical and experimental, have 
been produced. 

Ritchie was experimenting on the assumption that the 
thunderball is an ionized sphere of gas energized by the induc- 
tion of short-wave electromagnetic oscillations produced in a 

In his 1964 book Sir Basil Schonland commented: 

A significant number of earlier reports on ball lightning has likened 
their behaviour to that of soap bubbles. 

Referring to theories advanced to explain them he says: 

Some of these suppose that part of the highly ionized channel of a 
flash is detached (for reasons not understood). But for this detached 
portion to continue to glow for a few seconds is inexplicable unless 
some other outside agency supplies it with energy and . . . there 
is no evidence at all for any such source, which would have to be 

After dismissing all prospective explanations, the 1970 
Altschuler paper resorted to the suggestion that the energy 
source might be nuclear in origin, but concluded also that there 
were numerous and difficult theoretical objections to this 
nuclear hypothesis. 

Dare one suggest that they are nothing more than simply a 

* Journal of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, 1963, p. 202. 

'the flight of thunderbolts' 11 

phenomenon of the unseen aether medium? A rotating sphere 
of aether would have all the properties evidenced by the 
thunderball. The writer, having a firm belief in the aether, 
showed that the energy content of the thunderball can also be 
explained easily and in perfect relation with other theory he 
has presented elsewhere.* However, the journal Nature declined 
to publish such an account for the reason that 'it is not of 
sufficiently wide significance'. 

It is curious to see what man does regard as significant. The 
writer well remembers his flight from London to New York 
on June 15, 1970 (BOAC flight No. 591), when the pilot an- 
nounced the sighting of 'an unidentified flying object' crossing 
above our flightpath ahead — a spinning object. The passengers 
were invited to view it. I heard no more of it after the flight. 
Presumably this is not an unusual occurrence and therefore not 
particularly significant, but I wonder what might have happened 
had we flown into it. An event of some personal significance 
may well have occurred. Would perhaps we have had a rather 
large thunderball floating down the aisle of the aircraft? 

If the thunderball is to become a nuclear phenomenon instead 
of simply a turbulence, eddy or whirlpool in the aether, this is 
in line with history. We do not know what it is for certain. If 
we like to believe it to be nuclear then that is our open choice. 
It is probably the same with our understanding of the heat 
source which sustains our lives, the sun. We have not known of 
nuclear energy for that many years, but we are now assured that 
the sun is one massive nuclear furnace. We do not know quite 
why it does not blow up in one large bang, but, for want of a 
better explanation, it keeps us content to imagine that the sun's 
energy is of nuclear origin. At the risk of appearing cynical, 
dare it be suggested that perhaps it is a very large thunderball, 
or rather a very large ball of the kind we associate with the 
thunder and lightning phenomena. 

One might wonder if the men of ancient times ever perceived 
these thunderballs as miniature suns, after noticing their 
bouyancy in space and witnessing them dipping into water and 
dispersing energy. 

* Phvxics without Einstein, Sabbcrton Publications, Southampton, 1969. 


In The Story of the Heavens, Sir Robert Stawell Ball* relates: 

The old mythology asserted that after the sun had dipped in the 
western ocean at sunset (the Iberians, and other ancient nations, 
actually imagined that they could hear the hissing of the waters when 
the glowing globe was plunged therein), it was seized by Vulcan"]- and 
placed in a golden goblet. This strange craft with its astonishing cargo 
navigated the ocean by a northerly course so as to reach the east 
again in time for sunrise the following morning. Among the more 
sober physicists of old, as we are told by Aristotle, it was believed 
that in some manner the sun was conveyed by night across northern 
regions, and that the darkness was due to lofty mountains which 
screened off the sunbeams during the voyage. 

The object of these early ideas was to explain, not the nature, 
but the apparent motion of the sun. Nevertheless, it was con- 
ceived as a ball of lire, the origins of which were beyond specula- 
tion. It is of interest to wonder how the physicist contrived to 
explain the source of the sun's heat before the advent of nuclear 
theory. One viewpoint attributed to Sir William Herschel in a 
book published in 1852+ is expressed in the words: 

In order to account for the various appearances of the spots (on the 
sun), he supposed the sun to be surrounded by a transparent atmo- 
sphere, in which are suspended two distinct strata of clouds at 
different elevations. The upper stratum is composed of self-luminous 
clouds which constitute the source of solar light. The lower stratum 
is composed of opaque clouds, which shine only by the reflexion of 
the luminous regions above them. 

The fact is that the centres of the sunspots expose lower 
regions within the sun and, by the physics we accept, these 
inner central regions are darker and therefore at lower tempera- 
ture than the outer regions. Herschel's argument that the energy 
source is a shell enveloping the sun can have some truth in it. 
Furthermore, there are still some voices left to argue that the 
sun's energy is not direct nuclear radiation. For many years a 
scientist named Bruce has been urging a theory that the solar 
radiation comes from continuous lightning discharges at the 

* Published by Casscll, London, 1897. 
+ The Roman god of lire, son of Zeus. 

X History of Physical Astronomy, by Robert Grant, Bohn, London, 1852. 

'thf. flight of thunderbolts' 13 

surface of the sun. Sir Basil Schonland mentioned this in the 
last words of his book. He writes: 

Many hot stars, including our own sun, emit radio waves of high 
frequency which penetrate our ionosphere; their sources are hot 
plasmas in stellar magnetic fields and hardly qualifying for descrip- 
tion as thunderstorms. But whether any of the dying stars have 
relatively cold atmospheres in which thunderstorms could be created 
is an interesting speculation. Bruce has developed ingenious theories 
to explain in this way the periodic bursts of light from the long-period 
variable stars which make them on the average 100 times and some- 
times 10,000 times brighter at maximum than at minimum. It is too 
early to form a judgment on his many remarkable proposals which 
extend to lightning discharges in nebulae with channels 1,000,000 
light years long. 

To the writer, the idea of a shell of the solar atmosphere being 
the source of radiation by electric discharges has appeal. The 
reason is that, as such, it would not be at a uniform temperature 
and would appear hotter from observations assuming uniform 
temperature. Thus, the inner parts of sunspots could be at the 
same temperature, or nearly at the same temperature, and yet 
appear darker. The problem envisaged by Schonland of the 
sun being too hot to sustain the mechanism by which thunder- 
storms are created can be swept aside, as we shall see in Chapter 
5. We have reason to see that the cosmos provides a powerful 
mechanism by which electric fields and consequent electric 
discharges are produced. If the modern scientist cannot yet be sure 
how breakdown level electrical charges can be produced in our 
own atmosphere, then he should think seriously about Bruce's 
claims that this fundamental mechanism is at work at the surface 
of our sun. 

If progress can be made along a new track for explaining the 
origins of solar radiation, we may yet explain the origin of the 
solar system and the primordial energy source of our universe. 

Taking note that rotating glowing spheres can be produced 
from lightning discharges, the thunderballs seen on the earth, 
is it not possible that Bruce's theories about cosmic lightning 
discharges might spell for us the origins of our own sun? 
The sun could be a rotating sphere of aether evidenced by its 
electrical action in ionizing co-extensive gaseous matter. The 


sceptical reader might say that it could equally be explained by 
many other notional concepts. However, that is negative think- 
ing and what is proposed here is constructive. 

Let us risk a little speculation. If a spherical volume of the 
unseen aether medium rotates, it may result in an electric 
displacement effect radial from its axis of rotation. It is well 
known from Maxwell's work that a vacuum exhibits electric 
displacement properties so we are not making an unreasonable 
proposition. Rotation of a sphere of aether would then develop 
a magnetic field. It is easy then to say that if such a sphere 
housed an ionized plasma rotating with it, then both the radial 
electric field and the magnetic field would be cancelled. How- 
ever, we know that the sun has a magnetic field and we also 
know that 'lightning balls have been known highly to magnetize 
metallic objects such as gun-barrels'.* Therefore, the cancella- 
tion may only be partial and we can examine with justified 
curiosity the properties of the rotating aether medium. 

Furthermore, the association of earthquakes and lightning 
implies a link between gravitation and lightning. The form of this 
link may be the aether medium. The prospect that cosmic 
electricity can produce tremendous electric discharges which 
may induce aether rotation and the formation of bodies like 
the sun is an exciting thought. The problem is how to proceed 
with these ideas. In the next chapter we will follow the early 
background of gravitational theory in the hope that this may 
help us to forge the links we seek. 

* Quoted from the Ritchie paper referenced on page 10. Also note that since 
the Altschuler paper referenced on page 9 was published, A. A. Mills writing in 
Nature Physical Science, October 18, 1971, p. 131, has questioned the nuclear 
hypothesis. Mills tested a piece of church masonry known to be struck by ball 
lightning, looking for radiation dosage. He concluded tentatively that 'the 
incident at St. George's provides no evidence to support a ball lightning mechan- 
ism involving a strong source of radiation'. 


Discovering Gravitation 

The nature of gravitation was accounted for by Aristotle 
(383-322 bc). Bodies comprised four elements: fire, air, water, 
earth. These elements could interchange, one being transmuted 
into the other. Each one sought an 'end'. This accounted for its 
tendency to move. Thus, fire moves upwards, whereas other 
elements move downwards. Everything seeks an end and has a 
final cause. Bodies gravitate because they seek to reach the 
centre of the earth. 

Aristotle's philosophical notion about the nature of the 
force of gravity prevailed for eighteen centuries. Then man's 
understanding of the behaviour of bodies under the action of 
gravitation developed rapidly. The techniques of experimental 
research began to develop. The concepts of vectors, both force 
vectors and velocity vectors, and new mathematical skills 
emerged alongside the discovery of the telescope. The motions 
of heavenly bodies could be analysed in detail and found to be 
subject to behaviour patterns indicating compliance with 
Nature's laws, the laws of physics. 

A Dutch military engineer Stevinus (1548-1620) is credited 
with the discovery that a uniform chain laid over a double 
incline must rest in equilibrium if its ends are in the same hori- 
zontal plane. What the long part gains in weight it loses in that 
only a part or component of it is effective downwards. Hence 
emerged the difficult idea of what we call a vector component. 
About the same time Galileo (1564-1642) discovered the 
vector properties of velocity. The prevailing notion was that a 
body could have but one velocity at once. Galileo established 
that a body could have two separate components of velocity 
which varied independently. Galileo also helped to correct the 
idea that all bodies slowed down when not acted upon by force. 


It was erroneously believed that a constant force on a body 
would produce a constant motion. Hence the need to demon- 
strate that bodies of different weight fall at the same rates. 
Stevinus reports such an experiment: 

. . . The experiment against Aristotle is this: let us take (as I have 
done in company with the learned H. Jan Cornets de Groot, most 
diligent investigator of Nature's mysteries) two leaden balls, one ten 
times greater in weight than the other, which allow to fall together 
from the height of thirty feet upon a board or something from which 
a sound is clearly given out. and it shall appear that the lightest 
does not take ten times longer to fall than the heaviest, but that they 
fall so equally upon the board that both noises appear as a single 
sensation of sound. The same, in fact, also occurs with two bodies of 
equal size, but in the ten-fold ratio of weight. 

De Beghinselen des Watenvichts, Simon Stevin, 1586* 

Galileo used a pendulum to show that the time of swing does 
not depend upon the amplitude of the swing and then argued 
mathematically that this implies that gravity is increasing the 
speed of the bob by equal amounts in equal times, the discovery 
of the acceleration of the earth's gravity. 

When some Dutchmen discovered the telescope, Galileo 
quickly made a series of revolutionary discoveries in astronomy. 
Then Kepler (1571-1630) formulated his laws of planetary 
motion, demonstrating that their orbits are elliptical. To account 
for the force acting on the planets governing their motion, 
Kepler chose magnetism. It was Newton (1642-1727), several 
years later, who was to introduce the concept of universal 
gravitation. His idea was that there is a single universal force, 
the force of gravity. Gravity acts between all elements of matter 
in proportion to the product of their masses and in inverse 
proportion to the square of the distance between them. This 
relationship introduces the Constant of Gravitation G, a 
universal constant, verified as such by Newton by comparisons 
made for three systems: 

(a) The actions between the sun and a planet, treated mathe- 
matically as two point bodies with the planet moving in 
an elliptical orbit about the sun as focus, 

* Quoted from Science Past and Present, bv E. Sherwood Taylor, Heinemann, 
London, 1945, p. 82. 


(b) The actions between the moon and the earth, as two finite 
spheres, and 

(c) The actions between the earth and a small body close to 
its surface, treated as a point body close to a large sphere. 

Newton had to apply then-complex mathematical principles to 
verify his law for the general case, and his law of gravitation stands 
as one of the cardinal achievements in the history of science. 

Although Newton succeeded in relating the various effects 
and associating them all with one phenomenon, he did not 
explain the nature of this phenomenon. Newton did not claim 
to understand the origins of the force of gravity. He studied 
its effects on the motions of bodies. His discovery was the 
Constant of Gravitation G and its universal character, but he 
could not understand why G was a constant, nor, indeed, could 
he evaluate G in his time. Its evaluation depended upon know- 
ledge of both of the interacting mass quantities. Astronomical 
masses could not be measured. They arc estimated today from 
our knowledge of G. 

G was estimated in about 1740 by the mountain measurements 
of Bouguer. In the experiment the deflection of a plumb-line 
from the vertical due to the side-ways gravitational attraction of 
the mountain was observed. The difficulty was to evaluate the 
size and density of the mountain. Later, in 1797-8, Cavendish, 
using the torsion balance, was able to measure the force of 
attraction between two small bodies in the laboratory and there- 
by determine G. 

Still the nature of the force of gravity was not understood. 
Then in 1836 Mossotti proposed a theory of some interest. He 
suggested that there existed electrical charge which was mutually 
repulsive and that mass was also mutually repulsive. Further, 
mass and charge had an affinity for one another. This attraction 
effect between mass and charge was assumed to be somewhat 
greater than the repulsive force, giving an overall attraction 
which represented gravity. Weber and Zollner later developed 
this idea. They regarded molecules of mass as associations of 
positive and negative electricity and imposed the condition that 
the force of attraction between charge of opposite polarity 


is somewhat greater than the force of repulsion between charge 
of like polarity. 

Such was the speculative state of man's understanding of 
gravitation, when things began to go wrong with the basic 
law of gravity. The cosmos was withholding its secrets and the 
laws governing the motions of heavenly bodies evidently had 
some finer points which needed examining. This we will come 
to presently in Chapter 6 when we discuss Einstein's theory of 
gravitation. For the moment, it is appropriate for us to take 
stock of how physical science had really been developing since 
the end of the sixteenth century. Gravitation had captured the 
scene in the astronomical field, but essentially there are three 
other important scientific topics to follow in our quest to under- 
stand cosmology. The unseen aether medium is one of prime 
importance. The development of electrical science is probably 
even more important than the progress in mechanical science. 
Then there is the question of the source of energy sustaining the 
universe. Besides these, gravitation is merely a secondary issue, 
and not a foundation on which to build an understanding of the 
physical nature of the cosmos. 

Descartes (1596-1650) published in 1644 his Principles of 
Philosophy, which contained his expositions on mechanics, 
on what he termed the 'visible world', and also the subject 'of 
the Earth'. Descartes advocated belief in an aether medium 
of which all parts are in motion. He envisaged a plenum com- 
posed of eddies, whirlpools or any kind of turbulent motion. 
Gravitation was attributed to some special substance which 
entered a body and had the property of seeking to reach the 
centre of the earth. The sun's energy source posed a more 
difficult problem. He likened the sun to a flame but could not 
understand how the sun was sustained in the absence of sur- 
rounding air and a source of fuel. At the end of the 22nd section 
of part 3 of his work he writes : 

We do not see that the sun is dissipated by the surrounding sub- 
stance; this is why we have no way of judging whether it needs 
sustenance like the flame; and at all times I hope I may come to see 
in the future that it is still similar in that constantly material enters it 
in one form and leaves it in another form. 


Given an aether medium one might wonder why Descartes 
could not have looked to this for his source of solar energy. 
This would have raised the difficulty that all astronomical bodies 
might need to be fiery infernos as well, but answers to this diffic- 
ulty may be there to be found if one accepts the aether medium. 

Naturally, ideas about the aether were based on mechanical 
analogies. Electricity, as the really fundamental property, 
could not be countenanced. With the development of Newtonian 
mechanics there was scope to analyse models of the aether 
medium. The progress made in understanding optical phenom- 
ena and the properties of solid and fluid substances was such 
that the mechanical aether was to the fore. Therefore, as 
electrical science developed and particularly as magnetic pheno- 
mena were discovered, it seems that every effort was made to 
explain the aether's electrical phenomena in terms of mechanics. 

At the end of the nineteenth century the concept of mass 
stood alongside the concept of electric charge. They were used 
jointly in explaining physical phenomena. The idea of Weber 
and Zollner about the uneven interactions of charge and mass 
as an account of gravitation is typical of this intermixing of 
properties to explain fundamentals. Rather than explaining 
gravitation, it would be more direct to explain mass itself in 
terms of electric charge. Alternatively, the object should have 
been to explain electric charge in terms of mass properties. 
However, not knowing what either is in terms of the other, and 
not knowing what gravitation is either, the undaunted physicist 
goes on in his attempts to relate phenomena. He runs the risk 
of explaining a cause in terms of its effect rather than solving 
his problems the right way around. But to achieve any logical 
relation is progress. This brings us to the work of Helmholtz, 
who took note of the fact that gravitation itself could be a 
source of energy. He propounded the theory that the contraction 
of matter forming the sun releases energy and is the source of 
the sun's heat. This idea has now captured the imagination of the 
astrophysicist. It has taken on a different form in the concept 
of 'gravitational collapse' and leads to the fantasies of 'black 
holes' in space. We will come to this later. In the meantime, 
we examine the beginnings on which this concept is founded. 

20 MODERN \ I I 1 1 1 R SCIl NCI 

At this stage, the writer interjects the thought that at a time 
when the aether was accepted by physicists the logical energy 
source was the aether itself. Otherwise, we merely assume the 
existence of matter, derive energy from its coalescence, and are 
left with the ultimate problem of still explaining the origins of 
matter and the energy needed to set it apart in the first place. 

Also, it is appropriate to interject another observation 
addressed to those readers who remain sceptical about the aether 
medium and treasure their thoughts about four-dimensional 
space. The point concerns the stability of motion under New- 
ton's law of gravitation. 1 quote from the work of a science 
historian :* 

Laplace (1749-1827) was the supreme mathematician of Newton's 
planetary theory. The greatest single missing link -and a great one 
it was-— which he supplied in Newton's work was his partial proof 
that the system would be a stable one; but it was his prodigious 
power in dealing with both the detail and the general features of the 
subject which gave him his characteristic place in scientific history. 

Laplace died 100 years after Newton. Newton's theory, it 
seems, needed confirmation on a point of stability and it took 
so long a time before someone realized and resolved the difficulty. 
Now, one may wonder whether anyone has bothered to check 
the stability of the near-elliptical orbits of the planets in 
Einstein's four-dimensional space using Einstein's modification 
of Newton's law of gravitation. The passage of time since the 
inception of Einstein's Theory is no warranty that this point 
has been checked. On the contrary, one can begin to wonder all 
the more on reading the following: 

Have you ever wondered why ordinary space is three-dimensional? 
Although this may seem to be a ludicrous question, it has been the 
subject of considerable thought by scientists and philosophers since 
the time of Aristotle. . . . However, you do not need to worry that 
space has been five dimensions without you knowing because general 
physical arguments have revealed that three is the only combination 
that works. 

Dr. Ira Freeman has recapitulated the reasoning in a translation of 
W. Buchel's article "Warum hat der Raum drei Dimensionen ?' 

* Science Since 1500, by T. Pledge, H.M. Stationery OHice, London, 1939, p. 7 1 . 



(American Journal of Physics, Vol. 37, p. 1222). Dimensions larger 
than three can be discounted if we accept that the gravitational force 
varies as the inverse square of the distance between two masses. This 
law, originally derived by Newton, will only allow for stable elliptical 
planetary orbits if spatial dimensions are three or less.* 

It is difficult to imagine how Relativity's very small change in 
the law of gravitation from the form postulated by Newton 
could permit the remarkable step of introducing a new fourth 
space dimension. Perhaps a Laplace is needed to rescue Relativ- 

Laplace proposed a nebular hypothesis in 1796. Quoting 
from a 1835 edition of his work: 

. . . the atmosphere of the Sun originally extended beyond the orbits 
of all the planets, and ... it has gradually contracted itself to its 
present limits. t 

Laplace was, of course, concerned with the formation of the 
planets, but that is not our immediate interest here. It is the 
application of Laplace's idea by Helmholtz which is of concern. 
Helmholtz's work dates from 1854: 

When the nebulous chaos first separated itself from other fixed star 
masses ... an immense dower was bestowed in the shape of the 
general attraction of all the particles for each other. The force, which 
on the earth exerts itself as gravity, acts in the heavenly spaces as 
gravitation. As terrestrial gravity when it draws a weight downwards 
performs work and generates kinetic energy so also the heavenly 
bodies do the same when they draw two portions of matter from 
distant regions of space towards each other. . . . When, through con- 
densation of the masses, their particles came into collision and clung 
to each other, the kinetic energy of their motion would be thereby 
annihilated, and must reappear as heat. . . . Calculations show that, 
assuming the thermal capacity of the sun to be the same as that of 
water, the temperature might be raised to 28,000,000 of degrees, if 
this quantity of heat could ever have been present in the sun at one 
time. This cannot be assumed, for such an increase of temperature 
would offer the greatest hindrance to condensation. It is probable 
rather that a great part of this heat, which was produced by con- 
densation, began to radiate into space before the condensation was 
complete. But the heat which the sun could have previously developed 
* New Scientist, February 19, 1970, p. 343. 

f Quoted from Science Past and Present, hv F. Sherwood Taylor, Heinemann, 
London, 1945, p. 195. 


by its condensation, would have been sufficient to cover its present 
expenditure for not less than 22,000,000 of years of the past.* 

We well know, today, that the earth is older than this by a 
factor measured in hundreds. Hence, Helmholtz's theory has 
no place in modern opinion. One may, nevertheless, wonder 
what Descartes 1 whirlpools in the aether would make of the 
chaos of all this energy coming together to form the sun. Might, 
perhaps, the aether contrive to form itself into a rotating unit, 
a whirlpool, co-extensive with the form of the sun and absorb 
some of the energy released by the gravitational compaction of 

The Constant of Gravitation has only been measured on this 
our earth. Newton has shown it to be a universal constant in this 
our solar system. We assume that the self-same value of the 
constant applies throughout the universe. We make this assump- 
tion even though it leads us to believe that some stars are so 
dense that tons per cubic inch are inadequate units for con- 
venient expression. In the solar system we are dealing with 
bodies whose densities fall within the densities of the substances 
used by Cavendish in his experiment to measure G. What if G 
is different when the density becomes really high? Then, our 
ideas about the white dwarf stars, for example, will need drastic 
revision. We do not know exactly what gravitation is and so we 
assume G to be a universal constant throughout the whole 
universe and apply it to all matter concentrations however 
dense. With a very dense star we are then led to realize a 
problem. As the energy of the star is spent by radiation it will 
eventually have to cool down. Then its matter must regain a 
more normal density because the temperature will have origin- 
ally stripped electrons from its atoms and permitted the tight 
compaction and the recovery process must lead to its physical 
expansion. As Eddington puts the problem: 

An intolerable situation— the star could not stop losing heat, but it 
would have insufficient energy to be able to cool downlj 

* Quoted from Science Past and Present, hv F. Sherwood Taylor Heincmann 
London, 1945, p. 196. 

f The Nature of, he Physical W orld, by A. S. Eddington, Cambridge University 
Press, 1929, p. 204. 



Work has to be done against the force of gravity in the ex- 
pansion process. It does seem so absurd that a star could find 
itself in such a plight. Eddington said that the answer to the 
difficulty came from the development of new statistical mech- 
anics. Another answer could be that the ever-present aether, 
being an energy source itself, helps the star out of its difficulty. 
If there is an aether it seems likely that it will play a role in 
communicating gravitational force. Force is measured in terms 
of an energy gradient. If there is no energy available, then there 
can be no energy gradient and so no force. Gravitation is not 
guaranteed by Newton's law. If gravitation is a secondary 
property of the aether medium, the lack of energy will rule out 
the action of any force. The star will expand and the aether will 
react to assert gravitation, draw ing upon whatever energy sources 
it has available to feed the energy requirements. 

This may lead us to the thought that changes in the gravita- 
tional compaction of matter and the deployment of the energy 
involving the prospective aether may occur with earthquakes. 
With the overall compaction of a large body of stellar dimen- 
sions the energy density may become so great that the aether 
may be able to absorb the energy. For the earth, however, we 
may expect not so much an energy exchange, but an angular 
momentum exchange. Conservation of angular momentum is a 
consequence of a central law of force such as Newton's Law 
of Gravitation. Thus if the effect of the earthquake is to decrease 
the effective radius of the earth and reduce its moment of inertia, 
the earth will begin to rotate faster. If the earth is permeated by 
an aether medium which rotates at the same angular velocity, 
then this too will rotate faster. 

This chapter has not taken us much further in our quest. It has 
served its purpose in bringing us to wonder whether gravitation- 
al potential energy has an exchange relationship of some kind 
with energy stored in the aether medium and possibly with 
energy associated with aether rotation. 

This idea will be turned to good account in the next two chap- 


The Lodestone 

A true understanding of Nature can only come from the correct 
interpretation of reliable facts. Experimental science is the 
source of an ever-increasing number of facts, more or less 
reliable, depending upon the degree of success of the experiment 
and the assumptions implicit in the technique or the analysis 
of the results. We have a vast amount of data but progress 
towards certainty is still rather slow. One would think, how- 
ever, that in modern times we can depend less upon imagination 
and hypothesis than did our forebears. We should be living in an 
age of empirical certainty coupled with a clear insight into the 
reasons for Nature's mysteries as presented by Nature herself. 
We should have real confidence in the certainty of our know- 
ledge if we are to feel proud masters of mysteries of our physical 
environment when we look back to the amusing ignorance of the 
philosophers of the past. Unfortunately this is not true. Anyone 
looking at physics as an outsider would think that everything 
had been revealed to the discerning scientist of today. It is so 
complex and it is founded upon careful research and enquiry 
by so many workers all over the world. It must be founded well 
and present a truthful picture of the inner workings of Nature. 
Yet it does not. Nor do we see an elimination of hypothesis and 
an account logically founded on factual beginnings. Sometimes 
one cannot trace the facts which the mathematics are supposed 
to be explaining. Most published accounts of the physical 
features of Nature, except, of course, the elementary texts for 
the school reader, tell their story as if the universe would not 
exist were it not for certain hypotheses such as the Uncertainty 
Principle of Heisenberg, the Exclusion Principle of Pauli and the 
Principle of Relativity of Einstein. Hypothesis and theory 
dominate all the experimental data. Is it really so different from 


four centuries ago? Man's ego is such that he has to explain his 
knowledge with conviction. He is reluctant to appear weak and 
insecure, even when he is trying to develop interest in that vast 
environment in which we all exist and which will, as a matter 
of mere logic, never yield to complete understanding by mere 

In this book we are treading our path confident only that 
there is uncertainty about many if not all of our current scientific 
beliefs. We stand ready to change our minds, and if someone 
expresses certainty we will question. How otherwise can we be 
any more knowledgeable than Aristotle? If we superimpose our 
imagined convictions upon our quest to understand Nature, 
we will have theorized about ourselves, rather than about 
Nature alone. I believe that there is an aether. I cannot be certain 
but 1 can show stronger reason for believing in the aether than 
is afforded to the contrary by the counter-arguments in the 
literature. I want to understand the portrayals of Nature 
found in so many textbooks, but I am unhappy about their 
foundations. They do not seem strong enough to support the 
grand edifice built upon them. What is mass? What is gravity? 
Why are all electrons alike? Why does light travel at a definite 
speed? What is magnetism? If you appeal to a principle, have 
you explained anything until you eventually explain the principle 
itself? We know so much more today, but relate our know- 
ledge in such a complicated way that one wonders if we really 
understand any better. 

Comparisons to judge man's progress in his intrinsic ability 
to understand cannot be made by measuring our knowledge of 
new experimental facts. Effective comparison can only be made 
from a consideration of the progress of our knowledge in 
understanding the results of the earliest scientific experiments. 
It was towards the end of the sixteenth century that experimental 
science began to develop as an accepted method of enquiry. 
Much credit in this pioneer effort must go to William Gilbert 
(1540-1603), who devoted his life to the study of the properties 
of the magnet. His treatise De Magnete was published in 1600. 
Gilbert's contemporaries well knew of the magnetic properties 
of the mineral iron oxide, called by the name lodestone. The 



concept of poles and their properties of mutual attraction or 
repulsion were also known. The tendency of the lodestone to set 
itself in a preferred North-South direction was one of Nature's 
recognized mysteries usefully applied in compasses for naviga- 
tion. Hypothesis had it that the lodestone tended to align itself 
with some northerly star or that it was magnetically attracted 
to point towards a large lodestone mountain in Arctic regions. 
Experimental verification of such hypotheses was not an easy 
task for Gilbert to undertake. He did contrive an experiment 
to verify his own hypothesis that the earth was a very large 
magnet and that this could account for the observed behaviour of 
the compass. Using a lathe, he machined a sphere of lodestone 
and by using tiny magnets at different positions on its surface 
he demonstrated that the orientations of the compasses, includ- 
ing their angles of dip, were analogous to the behaviour of 
compasses reacting to the earth. 

Gilbert can be said to have discovered that the earth is a 
large magnet and it seems that this discovery will stand as 
firmly established as any ever made by man, but does the modern 
physicist understand why the earth is a magnet? He thinks he 
does because he has, in recent times, discovered that a thermally- 
agitated electrical medium can induce a magnetic field when 
rotating. We have what is called a theory of hydromagnetism. 
If the earth has a hot rotating fluid core it is natural to rely 
on this to account for the earth's magnetism. We do not appar- 
ently need any other explanation, even though there is no 
reasonably certain quantitative verification of the theory. 

The physicist constantly discovers new experimental facts. 
The sun is also a magnet. Its magnetism can be measured by 
examining the spectrum of solar radiation. But there is a prob- 
lem here. The sun's magnetism is changing and it appears that 
it may reverse cyclically over a period of years. Indeed, evidence 
has been afforded by some stars showing that their magnetic 
poles exchange positions every few days. Even the earth is now 
believed to reverse its magnetism every million years or so. 
Writing about the rapid reversals of the stellar magnetic fields, 
S. K. Runcorn said in The Times (London) of April 26, 1965: 
This is one of the most stimulating challenges of cosmic magnetism. 


This is no understatement. The star itself, contrary to ob- 
servation, would have to change its direction of rotation for the 
existing theory to explain the magnetic reversals. We cannot 
then assert any reasonably confident knowledge of the nature of 
cosmic magnetic properties. Certainly, we must doubt the 
current theory of the earth's magnetism. 

Even the nature of the intrinsic ferromagnetism of the lode- 
stone has remained one of the cardinal problems of theoretical 
physics. There are so many alternative physical models side- 
by-side in modern texts on magnetism, all purporting to explain 
the same phenomenon, that no one can assert that we truly 
understand today the fundamental magnetic nature of the 
lodestone. Curious though it is, the earliest discoveries — light- 
ning, magnetism, gravitation — are the ones which present the 
greatest problems, no doubt because they are so fundamental. 

There is really nothing sacrosanct about the physicist's 
present interpretation of Nature. We are all free to think things 
out for ourselves and we can explore our own ideas without being 
obliged to conform to the pattern already set by others. If we 
are to fathom the basic structure of Nature we cannot be timid 
in the approach we take. Let us explore here a hypothesis of 
our own, boldly forging a link between gravitation and magnet- 
ism. Take the idea of Weber and Zollner already presented and 
develop it one step further. If gravitation were attributable to a 
greater force of electrostatic attraction between charge than of 
repulsion, then possibly charge of different polarity may dis- 
play a similar inequality in producing a magnetic field. For 
example, suppose that a small fixed proportion of all positive 
charge, say, is ineffective in producing any mutual repulsion 
with its counterpart in other positive charge and that it is 
ineffective in inducing magnetism as well. Then, given the mass 
of any element of neutral material, we can associate with it a 
virtual negative charge, in electrostatic units, given by its mass 
in grams multiplied by the square root of the Constant of 
Gravitation G. This follows from the comparison of Coulomb's 
law of electrostatic interaction and Newton's law of gravitation. 
If any body of material is rotated it then follows that it will 
induce magnetism as if this virtual negative charge were set in 

28 MODLRN \l I HI R S ( 1 1 N ( I 

rotation. Analysis shows that for any such body the ratio of the 
magnetic moment as expressed in electrostatic units to the 
angular momentum is simply one half of the square root of G. 
Hence our hypothesis has something to predict, both quali- 
tatively and quantitatively. It can be tested. 

In fact, something very similar to this hypothesis emerged 
historically and from empirical study, as the subject developed 
over the years. Schuster (1912) and Wilson (1923) have shown 
that the magnetic moments and angular momenta of the sun 
and earth are approximately related by a common ratio. This 
led to the hypothesis, the so-called Schuster-Wilson hypothesis, 
that a fundamental property exists which causes any rotating 
body to have a magnetic moment. A particularly significant 
result emerged from the quantitative aspects of the hypothesis. 
It was shown by Wilson that the right order of magnitude for the 
magnetic fields of the earth and the sun is obtained if it is 
assumed that a moving mass, measured in gravitational units, 
has the same effect as a moving negative charge, measured in 
electrostatic units. It was then realized that the possibly coinci- 
dental result of the Schuster-Wilson hypothesis might develop 
the long-sought link between magnetism and gravitation. 

Wilson carried out laboratory experiments. He made magnetic 
tests on a large swinging iron bar. The magnetic field predicted 
by using the hypothesis did not exist. The hypothesis stood 
refuted. Then, two decades later, there was a revival of interest. 
Babcock (1947) succeeded in measuring the magnetic field of the 
star 78 Virginis. It now became possible to apply the hypothesis 
to three bodies instead of two. Coincidental results might stem 
from a comparison between two astronomical bodies. Co- 
incidence was unlikely if the hypothesis worked on the only three 
large bodies for which the parameters being compared had been 
measured. The hypothesis was verified. It was fully applicable 
to them all, notwithstanding the fact that angular momentum 
involved in the comparison was for the star 10,000,000,000 
times greater than for the earth. Blackett (1947) was quick to 
draw this to attention.* Seemingly, if we accept Wilson's 
experiment, there is something special about large bodies. Their 

* Xatitre, Vol. 159, pp. 658-66. 


ability to induce magnetic fields seems different from that of 
simple iron bars. Blackett then set about the task of carrying 
out a much more sophisticated experiment to check the hypo- 
thesis in the laboratory. Meanwhile, in this period, unsettling 
anomalies were being discovered. For example, Babcock (1948), 
Thiessen (1949) and Von Kluber (195 1) were discovering that the 
solar magnetic field varies. Changing magnetic moment is not 
consistent with the hypothesis. Blackett (1952) made tests on a 
large gold cylinder fixed in position in a remote test location. 
It rotated with the earth. It was of very dense material and, by 
the Schuster-Wilson hypothesis, this concentration of mass 
rotating slowly with the earth should be the seat of a magnetic 
moment. Very delicate and extremely sensitive magnetometer 
measurements were made. The remote location minimized any 
ambient interference from noise and vibration or other man- 
made causes. The instrument was sensitive enough to detect 
the proverbial needle in a haystack, even at a distance measured 
in hundreds of yards. But, there was no evidence substantiating 
the hypothesis. The gold body exhibited no magnetic effects 
attributable to its rotation with the earth. The hypothesis 
again stood refuted. 

Furthermore, Runcorn and others (1950 and 1951) made 
measurements on the variation of the earth's magnetic field over 
a range of depths below the earth's surface and were able to 
analyse the shape of the earth's field. The magnetism which 
would arise if the implications of the Schuster-Wilson hypo- 
thesis are given meaning has a different field form to that which 
arises merely if there is, in effect, a large magnet at the centre 
of the earth. 

The principal and clear distinction to be drawn between 
these two concepts is that for one the horizontal component of 
the geomagnetic field should increase with increasing depth 
below the earth's surface, whereas for the other this component 
should decrease with increasing depth. The result found experi- 
mentally went against the Schuster- Wilson hypothesis. It is 
refuted and it stands refuted. So our own version of the hypo- 
thesis is short-lived. We are left with the inevitable challenge 
of still finding the real answer. 


A little reflection here might help. Had the hypothesis been 
verified, what would that have really told us? Would we not 
then have confronted just another problem, one still more 
elusive? What is virtual charge? Why should there be the non- 
symmetrical behaviour of charge of opposite polarity? Surely, 
it is just as well that the hypothesis failed. Nature should be 
simple and never non-symmetrical in its endowment of proper- 
ties to electric charge of different polarities. We should not 
invent a pattern of scientific behaviour and expect Nature to 
conform. We should perceive Nature's own pattern. Our 
examination of Nature's phenomena will lead us to the answer. 
The clues to this great mystery are there if only we can see them. 
Yet, as I write this, I am mindful of a private communication 
1 have just received from a young French scientist presently in 
North America. Edouard Rocher's thesis is that space-time 
has a metric composed of two four-dimensional systems inter- 
acting in conjunction with an operator /, the symbol for the 
square root of minus one, as used by the electrical theorist. It 
symbolizes the act of half-reversing a vector, that is a phase 
change through a right angle. By using it in conjunction with 
field theory one can make attractive interactions repulsive and 
vice versa. Rocher's eight-dimensional universe is his starting 
point in an attempt to relate gravitation and magnetism, and 
he takes encouragement from the Schuster-Wilson hypothesis, 
notwithstanding its rejection. Rocher's ideas may gain strength 
if Einstein's principles survive, but I believe they will collapse 
alongside Einstein's. Nevertheless, Rocher is undaunted by the 
rejection of the hypothesis under study. Therefore, let us keep 
it in mind as we now look for the signs Nature is presenting to us 
to help us in our quest. 

Let us go back in time to that period following Benjamin 
Franklin's discovery of the electrical nature of lightning. 
Some years thereafter, in 1774, Joseph Priestley (1733-1804) 
wrote : 

There is nothing in the history of philosophy more striking than the 
rapid progress of electricity. Nothing ever appeared more trifling 
than the first effects which were observed of this agent in nature, as 
the attraction and repulsion of straws and other light substances'. It 



excited more attention by the flashes of light which it exhibited. We 
were more seriously alarmed at the electrical shock, and the effects of 
the electrical battery; and we were astonished to the highest degree by 
the discovery of the similarity of electricity with lightning, and the 
aurora borealis, with the connection it seems to have with water- 
spouts, hurricanes, and earthquakes, and also with the part that is 
probably assigned to it in the system of vegetation, and other the 
most important processes in nature.* 

As already noted, we read in Nature in 1970 that the light- 
ning accompanying earthquakes is difficult to explain. There 
seems no link between the two phenomena, and yet the relation 
has been a feature demonstrated, it seems, for so long and 
commented on in records two centuries ago. What is the use of 
theories, such as Einstein's, when we cannot explain those 
powers of destruction commanded by Nature and called light- 
ning and earthquakes. Surely, we can explain each of them, but 
it seems that something is lacking if there is a definite link 
which we cannot explain. What does Einstein have to say about 
lightning? He docs not explain lightning at all. Franklin did 
that! To Einstein, lightning is merely a flash of light which is 
signalled at the speed of light. He uses lightning to explain his 
concept of time, in his discussion of what is and what is not 
simultaneous. f Given two flashes of lightning Einstein argues 
that they are simultaneous only if they are seen simultaneously 
by the observer. Yet, his argument is based upon the acceptance 
that it takes time for their light to travel to the observer at a 
finite speed. Therefore, the observer may see them simultaneous- 
ly and know that they are not simultaneous. The observer may 
then well wonder why his time measure has to be modified to 
suit Einstein. Do we really live in a world of makebelief? 
Time is one of the most basic sense references we have for under- 
standing our environment and as a basic reference its constancy 
ought really to be taken as 'timeless'. It is so fundamental. We 
will proceed on this conviction. We will see whether we can 
come to understand more about phenomena such as lightning, 
on this foundation, rather than following Einstein and bringing 

* Quoted from Science Past and Present, bv F. Sherwood Taylor, Heinemann 
London, 1945, p. 129. 
f Relatu ity, by A. Einstein, Crown Publishers, New York, 196!, p. 25. 


lightning and other such physical experiences into account to 
explain variations in the measure of time while yet not explaining 
the nature of time. 

Nordenson (1969)* is highly critical of Einstein's ideas on 
simultaneity. He writes: 

According to this declaration the concept of simultaneity does not 
exist a priori. It is only by performing certain physical experiments 
that the concept achieves any sense. This is a most remarkable philo- 
sophical proclamation in any context. 

However open-minded we are, surely we must believe that an 
instant in time is universal. No apparition can shatter such 
belief. It is necessary if only as a matter of definition. If we 
appeal to definition we can, L suppose, adopt Einstein's definition 
instead. But why complicate things? Use the natural sense 
conception of time. It must be right and Nature must be capable 
of more straightforward interpretation if we stay with this 
notion. If, after checking the synchronous running of my wrist- 
watch against a clock in my house, I went away on a one-day 
trip and returned to find these chronometers disagreeing by 
one hour, and could trace this to no normal cause, I would still 
believe simultaneity had meaning divorced from signal propaga- 
tion considerations. Time is fundamental. The chronometers 
may behave in a queer fashion, evidencing some interesting 
physical phenomenon, which hopefully would yield to eventual 
explanation. But if time has to be redefined to provide an ex- 
planation one might as well take, as scientific, observations 
made in one's dreams. To resort to abstract thinking merely to 
satisfy one's ego that one can find explanation for Nature's 
elusive behaviour and then to project such ideas is to render 
science a disservice. It is the universality of time, the sharing of 
the succession of instants in time by mankind which constitutes 
the related existence about which man can usefully philosophize. 
Time has to be fundamental. 

Adherents to Einstein's theory talk of 'time dilation'. Some 
elementary particles are unstable. They have a finite lifetime 
before they decay into something else. Like man, they die after 

* Reialirily Time and Reality, bv II. Nordenson, Allen and Unwin London 
1969, p. 45. 


their due lifespan. Experiment shows that the faster they travel, 
the longer their expectancy of life. They do not share man's 
experience in this regard. Scientists attribute this increased 
lifetime to Einstein's 'time dilation'. In a frame of reference 
moving faster than ours time passes more quickly — or is it 
more slowly? Then again, how fast are we moving in space? 
No, it is the relative velocity which counts, and it is better not to 
try to explain this in words. Mathematics can extricate us from 
the confusion. Or do mathematics really obscure the problem? 
The increase in stability with speed might have been explained 
before the days of Relativity had the observation been presented. 
Perhaps the elementary particle, being electrically charged and 
having all its charge elements mutually repelling according to 
statistical energy considerations, would find that at speed it has 
a mutual magnetic attraction between its charge elements which 
offsets the repulsion and delays the likelihood of disruption 
to a degree depending upon speed. The experiment supports the 
idea of time dilation, to be sure, if one merely seeks a meta- 
physical explanation, but the physicist ought really to look first 
for a truly physical explanation before abandoning his cause. 

Time is measured by the pendulum because, thanks to gravity, 
the pendulum has the property of relating displaced mass with a 
restoring force proportional to displacement distance, and 
because mass, force and distance are appropriately related by the 
time parameter. Time may be measured by a spring controlled 
device in which the restoring force is linearly related with dis- 
placement by virtue of the elastic properties of the spring. 
Clocks and watches are useful because they keep time and time 
keeps constant itself. Since time and its constancy are inherent 
to Nature as its prime universal property, Nature is not dis- 
similar from the mechanism of the clock. Our unseen aether 
medium, if this is the universal clock, has its own harmonious 
oscillations. It must have a feature by which its distortion is 
opposed by forces linearly proportional to displacement. If it 
is a subtle electrical substance, we can imagine a negatively 
charged system somehow swinging as a whole within a cancell- 
ing positive charge. If the unseen aether medium is a plenum of 
electrical charge and there are, therefore, no voids, then the 


motion is more likely to be a cyclic rotary motion, with the 
whole system of negative charges rotating in harmony in balance 
with the positive charge. Russell (1946)* tells us how the early 
Greeks believed that there had to be a void as, otherwise, there 
could be no motion. But Russell contests this by the words: 

It will be seen that there was one point on which everybody so far 
was agreed, namely that there could be no motion in a plenum. In 
this, all alike were mistaken. There can be cyclic motion in a plenum, 
provided it has always existed. 

This is quoted not merely to support the argument that the 
motion of charge in an electrical aether is likely to be cyclic, 
but also to suggest that if we had to wait for Russell to correct 
the thinking of the ancient Greeks, we cannot take as certain 
the present state of rejection of aether ideas by the modern 
cosmologists. Besides, the modern cosmologists are mere 
disciples of great thinkers such as Einstein and Dirac, who have 
both, in their own way, suggested the existence of an aether 
having a universal harmonious motion. We will come to this 
specifically later, when we also examine the ideas of a relatively 
unknown French cosmologist, Veronnet. All three have pre- 
sented the basis of the idea we are following here, but seem not 
to have pursued the thought further. 

The step forward we are taking is to examine how this aether 
provides the universal time, and, if the reader has not forgotten, 
how lightning and earthquakes have possible association. 
Guided by the time requirement and the restoring force criteria, 
we note that electric charge distributions are possible, by which 
to explain the linear restoring force rate using Coulomb's 
law of electrostatic action. Furthermore, it works out that the 
system of electric charge which satisfies this criterion, and 
which is a plenum as well, happens to be the most simple kind 
of electrical system imaginable. One merely has a uniform 
continuum of positive charge in which discrete identical nega- 
tive charges are arrayed in simple cubic formation. These 
negative charges form a lattice which oscillates relative to the 
positive continuum. Seemingly, we are immersed in speculation, 

* History of Western Philosophy, bv Bertrand Russell, Allen and Unwin 
London, 1961 edition, p. 86. 


but we are not lost with this idea, and it can now take us to a 
new explanation of the earth's magnetism. 

All we have to ask is what happens if a large spherical section 
of this universal aether medium has its own rotation. Remember, 
time has to be universal in spite of rotation and our time measure 
has to stay constant. In other words, the cyclic oscillations of 
the system will retain their synchronism. Simple analysis 
readily shows that the superimposed rotation will permit the 
stable relative motion of the discrete negative charges provided 
there is a small radial displacement of the mean position of the 
charge. In effect, the rotation of the large sphere of aether 
within surrounding aether will cause a radial electric field to be 
established, as the sphere effectively acquires a uniform distribu- 
tion of charge balanced by a shell of charge transferred to its 

A mechanical analogy is seen if one imagines a boy standing 
anywhere on a rotating turntable and swinging a weight at the 
end of a spring around in a circle in a plane parallel with the 
turntable. We presume an arrangement by which the spring 
force is linearly proportional to the radius of this circle. The time 
of rotation of this weight will not depend upon the speed of 
rotation of the turntable, but the faster the turntable goes, the 
more eccentric will the orbit of the weight become relative to 
the end of the spring held by the boy. Time as measured by this 
rotating weight will remain universal, but the disposition of 
mass contained by the turntable system has changed. There has 
been an outward displacement of mass from its centre if the 
turntable rotates in the same direction as the weight in its orbit. 

The first observation we make from this concept of a rotation 
of electrical aether is that a magnetic field should be established 
which is attributable partly to a distributed charge and partly 
to an opposing effect due to a charge at the outer surface of the 
sphere. The magnetic field distribution for such a system will be 
more like that of a magnetic dipole located at the centre of the 
aether sphere. Hence the Runcorn mine experiments would 
support rather than negate the theory for the earth's magnetism 
to be adduced from this. Secondly, the implication that the 
magnetism of a body like the earth is due solely to the aether, 


to a medium which is not affected in its concentration by the 
density of matter, means that the gold cylinder tests of Blackett 
would give a negative result, as was found. The magnetic 
moment has become an aether property and, though the 
Schuster-Wilson hypothesis is incorrect, some modification of 
the hypothesis now looks feasible. Thirdly, there is charge dis- 
placement if the aether changes its speed of rotation, as we 
presume it would if the large astronomical body associated with 
it were also to alter speed. Charge displacement is a flow of 
current and could induce lightning. An alteration in speed of 
rotation could come from a redeployment of the earth's mass, as 
in an earthquake. Hence, the possible linking of earthquakes 
and lightning. All this comes from a willingness to recognize the 
ever-present aether medium. It is not a nothing that we sec 
only by following mere notions and principles. It is a reality we 
perceive by taking note of Nature's own manifestations. 

Of course, there is so much more to scientific theory than 
might appear from this casual treatment. Nothing can be certain 
about the conclusions just presented. Much more thought and 
analysis are needed even to begin to have a viable theory. There 
are still many problems to put on the list needing attention if we 
are to take this effort seriously. One problem is that if the earth 
developed a charge due to its rotation and sufficient to account 
for the earth's magnetic field, then the electric fields within the 
earth would be so high that conduction effects would obliterate 
them. This point was well recognized by Augenheister (1925).* 
However, this is not a problem but a clue to the content of the 
unseen aether medium. We know there is a magnetic field 
associated with the earth's rotation. We have been led to the 
idea that the rotation of an aether enveloping the earth induces 
this magnetic field. Consequently, we must look to this aether 
to have properties which cancel the electric field set up by rota- 
tion. If the cancellation does not affect the magnetic field, then 
the charge giving the cancellation cannot be rotating with the 
earth's aether. It is a direct self-evident conclusion which we 
have to accept. What does this mean? Simply, that there is free 
charge beside that contained in the lattice system. Why should 

* Augenheister, Phys. Zeit., 26, p. 307, 1925. 


there be such free charge? Well, the Earth moves linearly in 
space as well as rotating on its own axis. It can hardly sweep 
its aether through other aether and retain its harmony. There 
would be all kinds of turbulence, drag and disturbance, not at 
all consistent with the existence of a medium which sets univer- 
sal constants and puts order into the physical universe. No, the 
sphere of positive aether continuum can rotate smoothly with the 
earth, wherever the earth is located, but this charge cannot be 
carried forward with the earth as it moves around the sun. 
Consequently, the charge of the system of discrete negative 
charges cannot do other than remain also effectively undis- 
placed, save for rotation with the earth. 

Now, since this system of negative charge tends to form into 
a cubic array, what happens is that such an array is formed by 
the vast majority of the discrete negative charges within the 
earth's aether but some very small proportion of them are free 
and move in the direction opposite to the earth's translational 
motion. Thus the array itself can move forward with the earth 
and, indeed, rotate with the earth, but the free charge does not 
share this rotation with the earth. The result is the production 
of a magnetic field but a compensation of the radial electric 
field effects set up by the rotation of the aether enveloping the 
earth. This compensation is possible because there will be a 
uniform distribution of free charge within the earth as long as 
the earth moves at a steady speed. The lattice displacement 
develops a uniform displacement charge density determined by 
its speed of rotation about its axis. There will also be charge 
compensation at the boundaries of the aether because the total 
bounded aether charge sums to zero and balance inside the 
boundaries assures also a balance at the boundaries. 

Nevertheless, should the angular speed of the earth change or 
should its translational speed change, there will be transient 
electrical field disturbances developed in the aether itself. 
In earthquakes there is a rapid but small change in the angular 
speed of the earth and an induction of lightning could well 
occur as an aether phenomenon. Also, due to the ellipticity of 
the earth's orbit around the sun, we have a slow continuous 
change in the earth's translational speed. This could well 


explain other sporadic electrical disturbances in the earth's 

What is being presented could also explain a concentrated 
ionization effect at the spherical boundary of a rotating aether 
sphere. The earth's ionosphere may then evidence aether boun- 
daries. Also, if the thunderball is, as suggested in Chapter 2, 
nothing more than a rotating aether sphere, it would exhibit 
similar ionization effects, explaining its glow. Presumably the 
thunderball having little forward motion through the earth's 
aether and rotating at a very much higher speed could not 
command any more free charge concentration than is available 
in the earth's aether. Substantial ionization effects deriving 
energy from the rotational inertia of the aether forming the 
thunderball must then result. 

In addition, the origins of the thunderball become easy to 
explain. A lightning discharge will ionize the air and the dis- 
charge current will be carried essentially by a filamentary core 
of electrons subjected to an inward electromagnetic pinch 
action. The positive ions, being relatively inert because of their 
higher mass, will form a cylindrical plasma around this negatively 
charged core. As a result there will be a radial electric field 
developed about the axis of the lightning discharge. It seems 
likely that the aether may be disturbed to react so as to oppose 
this radial electric field. We have argued that rotating aether 
develops a radial electric field provided, of course, the axis of 
rotation is parallel to the axial direction about which the aether 
charges are moving in their harmonious time-determining orbits. 
Therefore, provided the lightning discharge has the right direc- 
tion it may induce aether rotation which would outlive the dis- 
charge itself and in some instances consolidate into a spherical 
form optimizing its electric energy, to create the thunderball. 

Is this outrageous speculation? Possibly it is. It seems rather 
odd to predict that thunderballs formed from lightning dis- 
charges will favour those flashes having a certain direction in 
space. The earth's magnetism can be attributed to rotation of the 
earth's aether about the preferred space direction. So we reach 
the peculiar prediction that, roughly speaking, lightning dis- 
charges parallel to the earth's axis will produce thunderballs and 


those at right-angles to the axis will not. Thus vertical lightning 
to ground in equatorial regions will not induce the thunderball 
phenomena. Horizontal lightning should produce thunderballs 
in these regions but such lightning would be high in the atmos- 
phere and the thunderballs would be dissipated before reaching 
the ground. 

In polar regions we have the inverse situation. Accordingly, 
thunderballs should occur in thunderstorms in polar regions 
where there happen to be few observers and thunderballs are 
unlikely to occur in thunderstorms in equatorial regions where 
there are many potential observers. It is no wonder then that the 
existence of thunderballs has been doubted. 

In mountainous regions midway between the equator and the 
poles thunderballs should appear relatively prolifically because 
of the higher incidence of ground flashes which can have the 
optimum direction. But do we have any evidence? 

Thunderballs are not just a ground phenomenon. Quoting 
from Ritchie* 

One large ball was observed to hang near the base of a cloud for 
15 minutes. 

But more pertinent to the above analysis is the quotation 
from Sir Basil Schonland's book:| 

There are no reliable reports of ball lightning from Africa, in spite of 
the high frequency of occurrence of lightning to ground. The Ameri- 
can meteorologist, Humphreys, has examined 280 specially collected 
reports of ball lightning and found himself able to accept only two or 
three at most as possible, but not necessarily authentic, fire-balls. 
The residue of reports from the Alps, which alone must be taken 
seriously, prompt one to enquire whether there are any circum- 
stances peculiar to this region which could create such unusual effects. 

We introduced this chapter by reference to the ferromagnetic 
properties of the lodestone and have considered the earth's 
magnetism. The nature of ferromagnetism itself remains an 
enigma in physical theory. Even the nature of magnetism is 
problematic. What is apparent is the spontaneous tendency 
possessed by a ferromagnetic material favouring the magnetic 

* Sec footnote on page 10. 

t The Fliglit of Thunderbolts, pp. 55 and 56. 


state. It is as if some natural urge exists which ensures magnet- 
ism unless accompanying constraints impose energy require- 
ments which cannot be met. If the aether likes to adopt a 
magnetic state and yields energy readily in adopting this state 
we can imagine materials being ferromagnetic if only the strains 
in them resulting from the condition do not require more elastic 
energy than is available from magnetic sources. Similarly, the 
aether itself might tend to be magnetized, as it can be if it 
rotates. However, its own magnetic energy yielded thus will not, 
it seems, sustain the other kinetic energy needed to permit 
rotation. Rotation of aether, given a liberal source of energy, 
can be expected. This now takes us to the problem of the 
creation of the solar system, but we will return to ferromagnetism 
in Chapter 12. 

As a small addendum to this chapter reference is made to a 
report in the December 24, 1971, issue of Nature. At page 465 
there is an analysis of experimental evidence showing that the 
earth has a solid core. It is concluded that 'solidity of the inner 
core represents the only solution consistent with the observa- 
tions'. Such a discovery invalidates the accepted theory of 
geomagnetism and should enhance interest in the theory of an 
aether-based geomagnetic field discussed above. 


The Origin of the Solar System 

Many treatises on physics present the same theories in the same 
way and do not admit any of the weaknesses in the matter 
which the student is thus required to accept. Seldom does one 
see encouragement to compare the accepted theory with those 
many theories which have neither become accepted nor have 
really been rejected. We may read of the contributions of the 
eminent physicists but we are not exposed to the many sound 
ideas of those of lesser standing. If these lesser contributions 
have been published they are there in the masses of scientific 
literature to be found when we go searching. It has to be so, 
but the modern textbook would have the reader believe that the 
best has been sifted out and what is hidden is for the historian 
rather than the forward thinker. 

It is not unusual for a scientific theory to be developed over a 
period of many years after its initial conception. The task is a 
labour of love for the creator. Few physicists are ready to take 
an incomplete theory and project it themselves. Thus, by the 
nature of things there must be in the literature many sound ideas 
which have been presented in their initial form only and which, for 
some reason, their originator has been unable to develop in his 
own remaining lifetime. There is no convincing physical explana- 
tion of the creation of the solar system in any modern textbook. 
The Bible is probably as authoritative as any account of the 
subject. Therefore, there is all the more reason for exploring 
the ideas of scientists of the past who had lesser standing than 
those whose names appear in the textbooks. 

In seeking to understand the origin of the solar system, we 
will begin by extending some recognition to a French astronomer 
named Veronnet. On December 16, 1929 the French Academie 
des Sciences conferred the Henry Poincare medal on Louis de 



Broglie for his work on wave mechanics. On the same occasion 
Alexandre Veronnet (astronome adjoint a l'Observatoire de 
Strasbourg) was presented with the Prix Lalande for his works 
in astronomy. Veronnet's work is particularly interesting because 
he did not turn away from the idea of the aether, and was ready 
to call it into account in furthering his theories. He wrote 
prolifically in Comptes Rendus for several years but seems to 
have had little published after the 1929 period when he proposed 
an electrical structure for the aether medium. His particular 
concern was the question of the origins of the angular momenta 
of stellar systems. Angular momentum is the key problem con- 
fronting any theorist endeavouring to understand the creation 
of the solar system. 

We note here that one of the consequences of any central law 
of force such as Coulomb's law of electrostatic interaction and 
Newton's law of gravitation is that if particles are in motion 
subject only to their mutual action the sum of their moments of 
rotation, termed angular momentum, is constant. The planets in 
the solar system all travel around the sun in the same orbital 
direction, which is also the direction in which the sun itself 
rotates about its axis. Therefore, the solar system has quite 
substantial angular momentum. One would expect that if the 
planets were produced from substance ejected from the sun, 
then the sun would rotate oppositely to the planets and their 
angular momenta would compensate that of the sun, at least 
partly if not exactly. The solar system has a net angular momen- 
tum and it is an important cosmological question to know where 
it came from. 

There are really three primary aspects of the solar system 
which need explanation. These are: 

1. How was the sun itself created? 

2. How did the sun acquire angular momentum? 

3. What caused the formation of the planets? 

Ideas on this are much as they were in 1929. In that year 
Eddington's book The Nature of the Physical World was 
published. Here are some excerpts:* 

* Published by Cambridge University Press, pp. 175-7. 



At least one star in three is double— a pair of self-luminous globes 
both comparable in dimensions with the sun. . . We may probably 
rule out the possibility of planets in double stars. . . . The most 
obvious cause of division is excessive rotation. As the gaseous globe 
contracts it spins faster and faster until a time may come when it can 
no longer hold together, and some kind of relief must be found. . . . 
We know of myriads of double stars and of only one planetary 
system; but in any case it is beyond our power to detect other plane- 
tary systems if they exist. We can only appeal to the results of theo- 
retical study of rotating masses of gas; the work presents many com- 
plications and the results may not be final; but the researches of Sir 
J. H. Jeans lead to the conclusion that rotational break-up produces 
a double star and never a system of planets. The solar system is not 
the typical product of development of a star; it is not even a common 
variety of development; it is a freak. By elimination of alternatives it 
appears that a configuration resembling the solar system would only 
be formed if at a certain stage of condensation an unusual accident 
occurred. According to Jeans the accident was the close approach of 
another star casually pursuing its way through space. ... By tidal 
distortion it raised big protuberances on the sun, and caused it to 
spurt out filaments of matter which have condensed to form the 

Eddington goes on to discuss how small the chances are of 
this occurring. He says that perhaps not one in one hundred 
million stars can have undergone this experience and then 
argues that this makes Earth the privileged place in the universe 
habited by mankind. He writes: 

I do not think that the whole purpose of the Creation has been 
staked on the one planet where we live ; and in the long run we cannot 
deem ourselves the only race that has been or will be gifted with the 
mystery of consciousness. But I feel inclined to claim at the present 
time our race is supreme; and not one of the profusion of stars in 
their myriad clusters looks down on scenes comparable to those 
which are passing beneath the rays of the sun. 

Hence, we are told that the solar system is unique. Man on 
earth has the privileged place in the universe today and life 
as we know it cannot exist anywhere else in the whole of the 
cosmos. Such are the questions at issue. Such are the answers if 
we exist because of the chance close passage of another star. 

At page 550 of the first semester issue of Comptes Rendus in 
1929, Veronnet presents a paper entitled: 'On the origin of 


planets and the formation of the earth'. On the origin of the 
moment of rotation of the solar system he says: 

Tous les auteurs de cosmogonie depuis Laplace ont pris ce moment 
comme donne. lis sont partis d'une nebuleuse qui tournait deja 
C etait supposer le probleme resolu. 

Then he asserts a theorem according to which, the kinematic 
moment of an isolated system, being invariable, the moment of 
rotation of the solar system can only be explained by the per- 
turbing action of exterior systems. External action of some kind 
was the inevitable conclusion, whether in the form of the wander- 
ing star or some other influence. The earlier ideas of Laplace 
about the solar system being formed from the condensation of a 
swirling gaseous medium lacked something because we are left 
to explain how this medium acquires its own angular momentum 
in the first place. 

Dauvillier* writing in 1963 emphasized the same point. After 
referring to the ideas of several contemporary writers he said: 

Mais ces auteurs ont elude Tune des principles difficulty du prob- 
leme, en se donnant, a l'avance, le moment orbital du systeme. 

Considering all possible theories, there seemed no way of 
avoiding the basic idea that the planets were formed by a stellar 
approach. Dauvillier notes how Poincare, Arrhenius and Jeans 
all were aware of the very small likelihood of the stellar 
approach. It seems that a stellar approach within the distance 
of Mars is only likely in 10 15 years, a chance which makes the 
sun quasi-unique. Star collisions, the basis of rival theories 
seem even less likely. Several authors have used the notion of the 
expanding universe to argue that collisions were much more 
likely when the universe was more concentrated. The result is 
however, an impasse. There seems no satisfactory theory by which 
to explain with some assurance the origins of our solar system 

Veronnet, in examining these questions appears to have 
studied some of the dynamics of a dispersed medium His 
analysis led him to consider criteria of stability and appor- 
tionment of energy in its different forms. At page 894 of the first 

* Lcs Hypotheses Cosmogoniques', A. Dauvillier, Chapter 8 Collection 
Evolution des Sciences, Masson ct Cic, Paris. 1963. ^ouecuon 



semester issue of Comptes Rendus he was writing about the 
limited possibilities of forms of space, Euclidean, Riemann and 
Cartesian. By page 1143 he was commenting on the dynamics 
of these spaces and deducing that the laws of physics have to 
be expressed by tensors. Then, by page 1380 he was presenting 
an 'Electronic Theory of Aether and Light'. He sought to extend 
electron theory to the aether with a view to explaining the aether, 
not mechanically, but electrically. He spoke of an aether 
composed of electrons or sub-electrons, which he called 'ether- 
ons'. He envisaged displacement against a restoring force 
proportional to displacement, which we were led to in discussing 
the universality of time. He pictures the etherons moving in 
synchronism. An electric field is their displacement; a magnetic 
field their motion. He argues that these particles are in a tur- 
bulent motion and that there is equipartition of energy and 
conservation of moments. The common value of their moments 
determines the Planck constant, which is also related to the 
energy stored by these elements of the aether medium. In a 
later paper at page 1488 he goes on to say how he derives 
Maxwell's laws and the law of Laplace. His ideas are essentially 
the ones which we came to in Chapter 4. In the paper just 
mentioned he writes : 

Si notre charge electrique, un electron par exemple, se deplace, toutes 
les particules d'ether environnantes decrivent des trajectoires 
fermees, toutes en phase sur le mouvement de la charge. Ces tour- 
billons des particules d'ether possedent chacun un moment mag- 
netique parfaitement defini par la surface decrite et la vitesse du 

We have used such an aether to explain the earth's magnetism, 
but it seems that Veronnet saw the same model as an explanation 
for magnetism generally. Hence we should be encouraged to 
take our aether studies further. It is surprising that Veronnet 
does not appear to have invoked this aether medium as the 
external agency which could explain his problem of the angular 
momentum of the solar system. It seems so obvious. Yet, that 
is the way of things. We will embark upon this task here to see 
whether the fundamental cosmological question about our 
unique existence can be probed further. 


We will start with the belief that the aether can be set in 
rotation with an astronomical body, such as the sun, and that 
this aether will then store angular momentum and absorb 
kinetic energy. In the context of rotation both angular momen- 
tum and energy can be exchanged with matter because the 
rotary motion is superimposed on the motion of elements of 
this aether. This differs from the case where there is translational 
motion of aether through surrounding aether. In this case the 
kinetic energy and angular momentum of the aether itself is 
merely redeployed and so there is no similar interaction between 
aether and matter with translational motion. 

Our aether is real and not at all like the aether which the 
modern physicist occasionally mentions in a half-apologetic 
way. We are not speaking of the aether Watson has in mind when 
he writes:* 

The aether is an imagined world of atomic connections between the 
real things and processes that the physicist controls and observes. 

Such an aether could hardly have played any role in the crea- 
tion of our solar system. Our sun exists and did not come from 
man's imagination; it came before man. 

When we come to ask how a star is created from an imagined 
nothingness, the physicist is confronted with a problem. He has 
no answer. But he can tell you how a star dies, assuming its 
pre-existence. His theories enable him to speak about gravita- 
tional collapse. The star goes suddenly into a never-ending 
state of contraction. It shrinks in size into the tiniest point 
imaginable and yet it retains much of its mass. It becomes a so- 
called 'black hole', whatever that is. The physicist does not know 
how a star gets its angular momentum when it is created, but 
says he can work out that angular momentum can be dispersed. 
Thus, when the star collapses he can investigate how it releases 
its angular momentum. Silk and Wright (1969)| show that the 
Newtonian angular momentum of a star is dissipated during 
the final stages of collapse. Presumably, this dissipated angular 

\96™7(>7 PI ' ySiCS T ° day ' W - WatS ° n ' Cambrid 8 e University Press, 

t 'Gravitational Collapse of a Relativist Star', J. Silk and J. P Wright 
Man. Not. Roy. Ast. Soc, 143, 1969, p. 55. wuyu, 


momentum is transported away by the imagined aether. The 
field medium we call the aether can transport energy and angular 
momentum. If it can convey these away from a star surely it 
can, by similar token, deliver them when the star is born, and 
our theories should be adapted accordingly. 

Ideally the solar system would have a total angular momen- 
tum summing to zero. If this were the case we could be happy in 
thinking that we do not live in a freak world. We could look 
out at the millions of stars in the sky and feel reasonably con- 
fident that many of them are solar systems like ours, possibly 
having planets like the earth and, physics being universal, 
people not too different from us. After all, physics leads us into 
chemistry and so to biochemistry. If we assert that our ideal 
self-contained solar system does exist we have to accept that 
there is something in the solar system which has been ignored 
in the angular momentum calculations. Newton's laws of 
mechanics work for complete systems, not partially complete 
systems. There is rotating aether in the sun itself, and some, of 
course, in each of the planets. But this is hypothesis and we seek 
proof. Our task is not difficult, once having started with the 

The stars may have condensed out of a uniform distribution 
of dust-like substance or from a gas. Matter may be created 
continuously throughout space, or may have been created once 
when everything began. Matter may be being created from the 
aether even today and the processes localized, say, at the sur- 
faces of stars. None of this is of much concern provided we 
accept the creation of matter which condenses to form stars, 
thanks to the ever-present forces of gravitation. Given this 
starting point, as propounded by the philosopher Kant who 
proposed the accretion of cosmic dust, we are ready to explain 
the solar system. 

When this dust came together the gravitational energy 
released by its compaction became available for deployment. 
It did not all go into the thermal excitation of the substance. 
Had it done so, the kinetic energy of the particles would have 
been so high as to oppose the gravitational forces and the 
system formed would have tended to remain a very dispersed 


gaseous system. Instead, the aether, as we showed in Chapter 4 
is ever ready to rotate, and given a liberal source of energy' 
does exactly that. The magnetic state favours rotation. There 
has to be balance of angular momentum, and so a sphere of 
aether rotates one way and a surrounding shell of aether rotates 
the other way. For maximum acceptance of kinetic energy it 
works out that the inner sphere and the outer shell must share 
the kinetic energy equally. They must have equal and opposite 
angular velocities. This is simple Newtonian dynamics. The 
maximum kinetic energy condition is imposed by the recognition 
of minimum potential energy and the fact that one, gravitational 
energy, ,s converting into the other. We assume that the inner 
sphere of aether in rotation has an outer form co-extensive 
with the matter which has condensed into a spherical form in 
releasing its gravitational energy and rotates with it. This may 
sound complicated but it leads directly to a very simple mathe- 
matical relationship between the speed of rotation, the Constant 
of Gravitation, the mass density of the aether and the mass 
density of the accreted matter, if the latter is assumed 

The mathematics are just a little more complicated if the 
accreted matter remains gaseous. The physical size of the system 
formed is not relevant to this relationship. 

We know the density of the sun. It must have been about the 
same before it ejected the planets, because it still contains nearly 
99-9% of the total mass in the solar system. We know the 
Constant of Gravitation. If we know the density of the aether 
we can then deduce the angular momentum which the matter 
in the sun had when it was created. Conversely, since we do 
know the total angular momentum of the solar system we can, by 
accepting that this is that possessed by the matter form of 'the 
sun when created, deduce the density of the aether. Such a 
figure might seem to be useless except that the figure obtained 
happens to check very nicely with a value deduced from other 
considerations in a full analysis of the aether.* For our purposes 
here, it is better not to invoke this aether density. An account 
I9 * 9 W, -"'« "itliout Einstein, IF. Aspdcn, Sabbcrton Publications, Southampton, 


has been given showing that recognition of the aether medium 
can explain the initial rotation of the sun when its gravitational 
energy was absorbed by the aether. By taking the whole angular 
momentum of the solar system and assuming that it was con- 
centrated in the sun at the time of its creation we may show that 
the sun probably rotated at one revolution every 12 hours. 
Now, at the end of Chapter 2, it was argued that the rotation 
of aether developed an electric charge displacement which 
effectively developed a uniformly distributed charge within the 

Ionization effects occur to cancel the resulting electric fields 
but the fact remains that displacement or charge is a character- 
istic of the rotating aether medium. The magnetic fields of 
astronomical bodies afford an indication of the magnitude of 
this displaced charge. The observations relating to the Schuster- 
Wilson hypothesis mentioned in Chapter 4 tell us that the electric 
charge for a body like the sun is roughly of the order of its 
mass measured in gravitational units. Thus the sun would have 
an electrostatic charge of the order of its mass of 2.10 33 gm 
multiplied by the square root of G. Since G is 6 66. 10~ 8 , we 
obtain a solar charge of about 5-2. 10 29 electrostatic units. Its 
field is partially cancelled by ionization effects and partially by 
free aether charge, of course, but the fact remains that an electric 
charge of this magnitude is displaced in the sun to balance the 
aether induction effects. For example, depending upon the 
polarity we can imagine a concentration of protons in the body 
of the sun and the grouping of the electrons they would norm- 
ally pair with located at the surface of the sun. 

Next, let us picture an occasional disruption on the sun which 
is so energetic that it ejects vast quantities of charged particles 
in the form we know as cosmic radiation, but the event contem- 
plated is on a much more powerful scale. Heavy positive charges 
and electrons will be ejected but probably a preponderance of 
electrons because of the surplus electron form at the solar 
surface. The sun is left with a positive charge for a period until 
the electric and gravitational potential gradient can work on the 
ejected particles to call them back. 

The maximum possible residual charge from any such 

-> u modern aether science 

disruption in the early life of the sun would be of the order of 
5-2.10 29 esu. 

Now, following these occasional periods when the sun has its 
residual charge we have a sun which is not stable. The highly 
energetic ejected matter in the close vicinity of the sun will find 
that a transiently stable state can develop by which this matter 
rotates about the sun with the electrostatic restoring force being 
in balance with centrifugal force. Collisions will be minimal for 
plasma charge moving in the same sense. 

This transiently stable atmosphere can accumulate angular 
momentum from the sun during this process totalling to a value 
of the order given by the relation 

(solar char ge) 2 = (angular momentum) 2 
(solar radius) 2 (mass)~(solar radius) 3 

This is merely the electrostatic attractive force set in balance 
with centrifugal force corresponding to the angular momentum 
of the related mass of the transiently stable atmosphere. 

Now, this transiently stable state may be followed by a further 
disruption. Although the ionized state of the atmosphere may 
become less activated as electrons re-assert their more specific 
positions to cancel the aether boundary charge, the atmosphere 
may have by then acquired a much higher velocity than the 
normal gravitational escape velocity. It will then be ejected from 
the sun to move to an orbit position around the sun where it is 
kept in balance by gravitation. 

It follows then that the equation above tells us something 
about the formation of the planets. For example, given the 
initial solar charge of 5 2.10 29 esu and the solar radius of 
7.10 10 cm, we can relate the angular momentum and mass of 
a planet ejected as a result of the maximum initial disturbance. 
The quantity angular momentum 2 /mass would be 1 9.10 70 . 

The value of this quantity for Jupiter, the largest planet in the 
solar system, is, in fact, 1-95.10 70 . 

It may seem remarkable that this result should come out so 
well. It is all the more surprising to the author because the 
electric charge induced in rotating aether should, according to 
his theory, be dependent upon the angular velocity of rotation 


and the charge envisaged by the Schuster-Wilson hypothesis 
does not take due account of the higher rotational speed when 
the sun was formed. 

However, it is important to note that if a charge could develop 
in matter, in excess of that predicted by the above application 
of the Schuster-Wilson hypothesis, the mutual repulsive effect 
of the charge would have an action greater than the mutual 
attractive effect of gravity. This assumes that the density of 
matter is uniform. Clearly, then, the maximum effective charge 
which can be developed to act in disrupting matter is that given 
by the Schuster-Wilson notation and it is most enlightening 
to see this operate to give with near exactitude the situation 
in which we find Jupiter in our solar system. 

Of course, we should not be misled by the numbers. The 
angular momentum of the solar atmosphere during the tran- 
siently stable period is not all effective in producing the 
planetary motion. Not all of the motion is at the maximum 
solar radius. At other positions of solar latitude the angular 
momentum comes out somewhat higher in relation to the 
solar electric charge. This is just as well because it seems 
probable that the planets were created in pairs as atmospheric 
bulges developed on opposite sides of the sun. 

Thus we could expect Saturn to be formed with Jupiter. 
Thereafter the sun would rotate at a much slower speed. Note 
that Nature first determined the mass which would come to- 
gether to form the sun. Then as this mass came together under 
gravity there came a time when it was possible for the gravita- 
tional energy to deploy to cause aether rotation. The basic sun 
would continue forming in this way until it reached the physical 
size governed by its gaseous state. In this condition it was little 
different than it is today save that it rotated rapidly about once 
every 12 hours. Then at some time thereafter it ejected Jupiter 
and Saturn, accounting, as indicated above, for the maximum 
angular momentum it could shed. This was followed at the 
next eruption by the ejection of very nearly the rest of its angular 
momentum in forming two planets Uranus and Neptune. 

Note that in earth units the total angular momentum of the 
solar system is about 1200. Jupiter accounts for 722 units and 


Saturn for 293, leaving 185 units. Uranus at 64 and Neptune 
at 94 took 158 units of the whole, leaving 27 units. Note that 
just as Jupiter and Saturn are of similar physical size (about 10 
times the diameter of the earth), Uranus and Neptune are also 
of similar physical size (about 4 times the diameter of the 
earth). Then it would seem that the sun, as a creator of planets, 
was effectively a spent force. Earth and Venus were ejected 
accounting for 1 unit and 0-7 respectively. Venus has a diameter 
0-95 that of Earth. Pluto and Mars probably came next and then 
Mercury and the moon. Today the sun is left with some 23 
earth angular momentum units. This does not take account 
of the very small planets, the thousands of tiny planets of 
relatively negligible angular momentum in the system known 
as the asteroids. Estimations indicate that probably 50,000 
such minor planets exist. 

Enough has been said to show that the accepted problem 
of the angular momentum of the solar system can be overcome 
if only we recognize the existence of the aether. However, we 
are left with the question of whether the small planets are being 
created even today. The asteroids move generally in orbits 
located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Accordingly, 
the angular momentum about the sun per unit mass is probably 
about 1 5 times that of the earth for the average asteroid. Thus 
at the solar surface the asteroid would form from an atmospheric 
disturbance rotating at a frequency measured on a per year 
basis as 1-5 times the square of the ratio of the earth's orbital 
radius and the sun's radius. This is about 70,000 revolutions 
per year or 8 revolutions per hour. We may therefore expect 
some kind of solar pulsation at this frequency to be seen if the 
sun is generating a new planet which will eventually be ejected 
to add to the collection of asteroids. Then we may read from 
the February 4, 1971 issue of New Scientist and Science Journal 
at page 231 : 

According to a large body of evidence amassed over the past ten 
years, it is now established that the solar photosphere has a steady 
vertical oscillation with a period of 300 seconds. 

This may well be evidence supporting the theory offered here 
for the creation of the solar system. Furthermore, when we come 


to explain why the earth's magnetism reverses in Chapter 16, 
it may be evident that the electrostatic balance of the solar 
atmosphere will be disturbed for the same reason. Possibly, 
therefore, the events of reversing the earth's magnetic field are 
linked with the creation of a pair of asteroids. Numerically, 
if the earth's magnetism reverses, say, every 200,000 years, then 
a solar system dating back 4,000,000,000 years would have 
produced 40,000 such planets. 


The Perturbation of Venus 

In Chapter 3 it was mentioned that Einstein had proposed a 
small modification to Newton's law of gravitation. There were 
problems confronting the simple law of gravitation which Newton 
bequeathed to science. Close study of the motions of the planets 
had indicated that whilst they were moving approximately in 
elliptical orbits, their orbits as a whole were moving very slowly 
themselves. On Newtonian theory such progression will arise 
from the perturbing effects of other planets. Indeed, it was by 
using Newton's law that Leverrier (1811-1877) predicted the 
existence of the planet Neptune from observations of perturba- 
tions of the planet Uranus. J. G. Galle at Berlin then discovered 
the planet Neptune within one degree of the place Leverrier 
predicted (1846). From observations on the orbit of the planet 
Mercury, Leverrier also predicted the existence of another 
perturbing body. It was named Vulcan. Sir Robert Stawell 
Ball writing in his The Story of the Heavens, 1897, calls it 'the 
planet of romance'. He comments:* 

The existence of a planet much closer to the sun than those hitherto 
known has been asserted by competent authority. The question is 
still unsettled, and the planet cannot with certainty be pointed out. 

For Mercury there is an unaccountable rate of advance of 
the perihelion. The discrepancy is as little as an advance of 
43 seconds of arc per century, but it exists and cannot be traced 
to inaccuracies in observation. Now, the laws of planetary 
motion under perturbation conditions depend upon the assumed 
equivalence of inertial and gravitational mass. Eotvos in 1891 
sought to check this assumption. It was established that at least 
in the laboratory inertial mass and gravitational mass were 

* Page 122, book published by Cassell. 



exactly equal. Thus it was indicated that the gravitational 
properties of a body are essentially of the same nature as its 
inertial properties. At the end of the nineteenth century it was 
then evident that unless Vulcan could be found we needed a 
new law of gravitation. 

But let us examine the problem more closely. In calculating 
the perturbation effects it was necessary to know exactly the 
masses of the various bodies involved, excepting that whose 
perturbation was under study. Since its inertial mass is the 
same as its gravitational mass the accelerating forces acting on 
it develop forces in proportion to its mass and the orbit is 
therefore substantially independent. The sun is such a large 
central body as to be effectively fixed for the purpose of these 
perturbation studies. If a planet has a visible satellite its mass 
can be calculated. Neither Mercury nor Venus have satellites. 
Therefore, to find their masses we work backwards from a study 
of their perturbing effects on other bodies, assuming, of course, 
that Newton's law is valid. Since there are more orbits to ob- 
serve than planets with unknown masses this process provides 
an effective check on the theory. It is the discrepancies which 
suggest unknown planets as needing recognition. 

Let us next examine some of the results of Doolittle (1925)* 
calculated for the planet Venus. Calculation on Newtonian law 
gives the following perturbation components of perihelion 
motion. The assumed masses of the disturbing bodies are 
tabulated as reciprocal fractions of the solar mass. 

Planet Sees arc I century Solar mass /Planet mass 


Earth + Moon 






- 118-9242 
+ 74-5865 
+ 656-06924 
+ 7-92070 
+ 0-277671 
+ 0-110304 
+ 55-86460 



* Trans. American Phil. Sac, 22, p. 37, 1925. 


In theory, therefore, the perihelion should be advancing by 
55-86 seconds of arc per century, provided our masses are 
correct. Experimental observation, however, shows an advance 
of 43-055 seconds of arc per century, according to Doolittle.* 

Note that these data were calculated before the later discovery 
of the planet Pluto' in 1930. Pluto is more remote than Neptune 
and has a mass smaller than that of the earth. Its effect on 
Doolittle's figures can, therefore, be ignored. 

At that time the mass of Venus was known with more assur- 
ance than was the mass of Mercury. Also, because Mercury 
has a highly elliptical orbit and describes its orbit more fre- 
quently, being the closest planet to the sun, it provides a better 
test for Newton's theory than does Venus. For Mercury it was 
found that the perihelion advanced by 43 seconds of arc per 
century faster than was calculated. There is an anomalous 
advance of perihelion. For Venus, Doolittle's data show an 
anomalous retardation of nearly 13 seconds of arc per century. 

These anomalies were, of course, already well known by the 
men who began to question Newton's laws in the early years 
of this century. Planck (1907) asserted that all energy must 
gravitate. Einstein (1911) followed this by contending that 
since light is a form of energy light must gravitate. Thus a 
ray of light passing the sun must be curved and the velocity 
of light must depend upon the gravitational field. Einstein 
(1915) then presented a new gravitational theory incorporating 
his concept of a space-time metric in four dimensions. It 
incorporated a modification of Newton's law. From Einstein's 
new law of gravitation the planet Mercury would have an added 
perihelion advance of 43 seconds of arc per century, a remark- 
able agreement with the observed value. For Venus, Einstein's 
theory gives about 8 seconds of arc per century as an additional 
perihelion advance rate to that given by Newton. 

Unfortunately, however, Einstein's theory is as inflexible 
as Newton's. The perihelion advance of Mercury has to be 43 
seconds of arc per century plus whatever Newton's theory says 
it is. The values calculated depend upon the masses of the 

* It is merely coincidental that this observed advance for Venus is almost the 
same as the anomalous advance lor Mercury. 


perturbing bodies. It is now believed that the oblateness of the 
sun, not accounted for in these early calculations, can reduce 
the theoretical perihelion advance by 3 seconds of arc per century. 
This makes Einstein's result less remarkable. Furthermore, 
there has been progress in working out the mass of Mercury 
and the test by Venus looks possible. By analysis of the motion 
of the minor planet Eros, one of the asteroids which approaches 
the earth very closely at perihelion and can afford more accurate 
data, Rabe (1951) has found the mass of Mercury to be one 
6,120,000 part of that of the sun. This changes the figure of 
-118-9242 in the Doolittle data to one more likely to be 
- 145-5. The anomalous retardation of 13 seconds of arc per 
century on Newton's theory becomes an advance of 1 4 seconds of 
arc per century instead. This is closer to Einstein's value of 8. But 
there are difficulties posed by our knowledge of the mass of the 
earth and moon system relative to that of the sun. Astronomers 
accept that there are discrepancies in the data they use. Indeed, 
they use different values for different purposes in order not to 
add confusion before resolving it. Nevertheless, the sun's mass 
appears to be about 333,430 times that of the earth, as far as we 
can judge from the earth's motion about the sun. This is the 
figure usually seen in most reference works. The mass of the 
earth is well known to be 81-53 times that of the moon. There- 
fore, the earth-moon system should be smaller than that of 
the sun by the factor 329,380. Doolittle's value was only 327,000. 
Also, many reference works suggest a value of the order of 
328,400 as best for some purposes.* 

This is not very assuring. If Doolittle's calculations are based 
on the value of 329,380 a further 4-1 seconds of arc per century 
have to be added to the theoretical advance, and this cuts the 
anomaly to 9 seconds of arc, which looks close to Einstein's 
value. But, did Rabe use Einstein's law in analysing the orbit 
of Eros? If he used Newton's law he has the wrong mass if 
Einstein's law is the correct one. Such are the problems! 

Einstein's theory reduces gravitation to a geometrical condi- 
tion; what has been called the curvature of space-time produced 
by the presence of matter. This compares with a pre-Einstein 

* Science Journal, H. Aspdcn, August 1965, p. 28. 



concept of Fitzgerald (1894) that gravity is due to a change 
in the structure of the aether produced by the presence of 
matter. This question of whether there is or is not an aether 
has importance even to Einstein's theory. The motion of a 
planet according to Einstein is not an ellipse even when other 
perturbing bodies are absent. It is an ellipse modified by 
progressive rotation as if the radial oscillations of the planet 
from the sun as centre are at different frequency to that of the 
planet about the orbit. It is as if the momentum properties of the 
planet are different for radial motion and the orbital motion. 
Of course, if we imagine a pendulum with a fixed spherical bob 
we have exactly this. The momentum properties are different 
for linear motion and swinging motion. The mass of the bob 
governs the linear momentum but the physical size of the fixed 
bob is involved as well, increasing effective momentum, for the 
swinging action. The planet can be likened to a system with a 
pivotally mounted bob, since it rotates independently of its 
orbital motion. The planet should, therefore, have the same 
effective mass for the two types of motion. But what if there is 
an aether medium? If the aether in the planet rotates with the 
planet, then this will not cause any discrepancy. But what about 
the aether surrounding the planet? We have to add the effect 
of moving a spherical hole through a fixed medium. This sounds 
absurd but it has sound physical basis, since we are dividing an 
argument into two parts. A hole can move through a medium if 
the medium can transfer itself across the void. Such a hole 
would have a negative linear momentum exactly balancing that 
due to the planetary aether. But such a hole could not be moved 
around in an orbit without changing its effective negative mass, 
because a hole can be said to move in a line but cannot be said 
to turn. This means that if there is an aether medium there will 
be an angular momentum effect to take into account. The angu- 
lar velocity of the planet in an elliptical orbit changes as the 
planet traverses the orbit. Thus, the angular momentum of the 
aether will change as well. This angular momentum will be 
drawn from the orbital motion of the planet so modifying its 
orbit. It is then to be expected that the existence of an aether 
will cause anomalies in the motions of planets. The calculations 


are straightforward, as the author has shown* elsewhere, and the 
quantitative results support the thesis in this work that an 
astronomical body is enveloped in an aether which rotates 
with it. 

* See footnote ref. on page 11. 


Microcosmic Foundations 

All the properties of electron spin, including the proper amount of 
angular momentum, relativistic fine structure and even the gyro- 
magnetic ratio, flow out of the Dirac formalism in an almost miracu- 
lous fashion suggestive of a magician's extraction of rabbits from a 
silk hat. 

Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol. 18, p. 930, 1970 edition 

Modern techniques for understanding the behaviour of the 
cosmos appear to have rather abstract foundations. The 
large-scale phenomena of our universe have become the realm 
of Relativity. The small-scale world of the atom, is the world 
of wave mechanics. Here we find the physicist using terms such 
as electron spin, angular momentum, relativistic fine structure 
and gyromagnetic ratio to portray the properties he can observe 
by his experiments. Some of these terms are common to the 
language of the greater world around the atom, suggestive of 
true unification of our theories across the whole spectrum of our 
experience. However, in view of the above quotation, suggesting 
that some of these properties have their origins in the occult 
magic of Dirac, we need to exercise care before accepting all 
that modern physics has to teach us. We must be suspicious of 
mathematical formalism. 

An occult-sounding term used by engineers is the word 
entropy. It is a measure of the thermal energy in a system 
which is unavailable for turning to good account and perform- 
ing useful work in man's machines. The concept of entropy is 
the engineer's contribution to philosophy. Referring to this 
contribution, and speaking of the philosophy of science in the 
nineteenth century, Eddington wrote:* 

* The Nature of the Physical World, A. S. Eddington, Cambridge University 
Press, 1929, p. 104. 



It was in great favour with the engineers. Their sponsorship was the 
highest testimonial to its good character; because at that time it was 
the general assumption that the Creation was the work of an engineer 
(not of a mathematician, as is the fashion nowadays). 

Then, later on page 209 of his book Eddington wrote: 

Nowadays we do not encourage the engineer to build the world for 
us out of his material, but we turn to the mathematician to build it 
out of his material. Doubtless the mathematician is a loftier being 
than the engineer, but perhaps even he ought not to be entrusted 
with the Creation unreservedly. We are dealing in physics with a 
symbolic world, and we can scarcely avoid employing the mathe- 
matician who is the professional wielder of symbols. 

All this, of course, has given the philosopher food for thought. 
Dana Scott* writing under the title: 'Existence and Description 
in Formal Logic', says: 

It is curious that in ordinary mathematical practice having undefined 
functional values, a situation close to using improper description, 
does not seem to trouble people. A mathematician will often formu- 
late conditionals of the form 

if/(.v) exists for all x<a, then. . . . 

and will not give a moment's thought to the problem of the meaning 
of f(a). More careful authors never use a description or a function 
unless it has been previously proved that its value exists. . . . More 
serious is the fact that it is quite natural to employ descriptions before 
they have been proved to be proper. 

Scott then goes on to prove something in eighteen pages of 
mathematical symbology. I could not follow the analysis; it 
seemed too complicated, though it is surely undoubtedly valid. 
Jumping to his conclusions I quote one of his results from his 
page 197: 

The operator O is eliminable in a theory T if and only if whenever 
two models of Tare weakly isomorphic by a certain one-one function 
they are also strongly isomorphic by the same function. 

As applied to the physics of crystals, isomorphism is the 
property of forming in the same or closely related geometrical 

* The 16th essay in Bert rand Russell: Philosopher of the Century, edited by 
R. Schoenman, Allen and Unwin, 1967, p. 181. 


configurations. In the logical derivation of this result, the opera- 
tor O is something which has replaced the 'abstraction operator'. 
I do not confess the slightest understanding of the above 
conclusion. Nor am I encouraged by the final conclusion on 
page 199: 

This result on eliminability is not very satisfactory. . . . The author 
has no idea what kind of model-theoretic conditions would corre- 
spond to this uniform eliminability that we have when operators are 
introduced by contextual definitions. It seems like an interesting 

Perhaps an abstraction operator is involved in linking the 
three-dimensional world of our experience with the four- 
dimensional world of Relativity. Perhaps then it is difficult for 
the logician to satisfy himself that the method of Relativity is a 
valid method by which to reason an understanding of Nature. 
Or perhaps the logician is just confused by Relativity. 

At this stage I wish to give my view that the mathematical 
theories of our universe, highlighted by Einstein's Relativity, 
have given too much rein to the mathematician. His skills in 
providing one of the tools needed by the physicist have been set 
aside and he has tried to become a philosopher in his own right. 
His apparent success has so affected the would-be general 
philosopher that mathematics appear nearly everywhere, 
superimposing a man-made vision of Nature and confusing us 
rather than recounting Nature's ordered structure with clear 

Max Born* in his essay 'Reflections of a Physicist' writes: 

All our instruments consist of ordinary bodies and cannot be dis- 
cussed but by ordinary language with the help of concepts of Eucli- 
dean geometry. It is of course left to the philosopher to analyse this 
macroscopic domain. But the physicist has enlarged it enormously by 
using magnifying apparatus: telescopes, microscopes, amplifiers, 
multipliers, etc. These produce data which, though consisting 
primarily of ordinary sense perceptions, cannot be conceived as 
meaningful structures with the help of the experience collected and 
the language learned in childhood. One has to apply abstract think- 
ing. This is the domain of Russell's theory of empirical knowledge. 

* The 11th essay in Bertram/ Russell: Philosopher of the Century, edited by 
R. Schoenman, Allen and Unwin, 1967, p. 124. 


For the physical world revealed here is a construction of the mind, 
armed with mathematics, from raw material obtained by the senses, 
armed by the magnifying tools of science. 

Evidently, Born sees both the physicist and the mathematician 
as mere helpers who carry the brushes and paint to the great 
philosopher artist, busy at work transforming the visions of his 
mind on to a canvas which will portray Nature and Creation. 
But surely, this canvas has already been painted by Nature her- 
self. It only needs the physicist to clean off the paint added for 
centuries by these many philosopher artists and then to examine, 
under his microscope of course, the fine detail and true beauty 
and majesty of w hat is there to be revealed. 

When Eddington referred to the Creation being the province 
of the mathematician he had in mind the name of Dirac. Dirac 
graduated Ph.D. at Cambridge in 1926 in mathematics. Six 
years later in 1932 he was awarded a Nobel Prize along with 
Schroedinger for 'the discovery of new productive forms of 
atomic theory'. Yet, Dirac was an engineer turned mathematic- 
ian. He graduated as a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineer- 
ing at Bristol in 1921, and his engineering spirit may well account 
for his frank and objective way of expressing his ideas, thus 
making his work an easy target for our enquiry. Dirac's 
contribution to modern scientific outlook on the workings of the 
cosmic world is so great that he provides the focal point for 
study in this chapter and also in Chapter 10. Following the 
theme of our introduction, it will be the objective to question 
and criticize the reputed 'wizardry' of Dirac. But this attack 
has broader address. The viewpoints projected here can be 
levied against the works of numerous less-eminent contributors 
to the mathematical theories of physics. It is just that Dirac's 
work provides an exciting stimulus to critical and constructive 
review and adds to rather than detracts from the magnitude of 
his great contribution to the scientific thought of this century. 

Dirac's main contribution concerns the properties of the 
electron, that fundamental entity of electric charge which is 
almost the sole performer in the practical applications of elec- 
tricity. The history of science is well coloured by the early 
recognition of the existence of the electron and its eventual 


discovery when, near the end of the nineteenth century, it 
became possible to measure its charge/mass ratio, and then its 
singular charge. After this there seemed little further to be said 
about the electron. How it kept itself intact, restraining itself 
from exploding under the action of the mutual repulsive force 
of its charge, was the real problem. How it behaved in atoms 
and could be created or annihilated were to become problems. 
A concept known as 'electron spin' was to be invented by 1925.* 
Nevertheless, the electron had been discovered by the end of the 
last century and, thereafter, its properties were merely a matter 
for experimental investigation to afford the clues as to its origins. 
But when Dirac came to discover the properties of the electron 
he was not examining the electron at all. His interest focused 
upon certain mathematical equations characterizing the new 
concepts of wave mechanics which were at that time being 
projected in Continental Europe by de Broglie and others. 

It will be remembered that at the beginning of Chapter 5 
we mentioned de Broglie's award of the Henry Poincare medal 
by the French Academie des Sciences on December 16, 1929, 
and the honour on the same occasion conferred upon Veronnet. 
Months previously Veronnet proposed his aether to the 
Academy, an aether containing 'etherons' whose motion 
determines the Planck constant. Four days previously, on 
December 12, 1929, de Broglie had been presented with the 
Nobel prize 'for his discovery of the wave nature of electrons'. 
In his Nobel lecture he had said:" 1 " 

A purely corpuscular theory does not contain any element permitting 
the definition of a frequency ... I thus arrive at the following overall 
concept ... for both matter and radiations, light in particular, it is 
necessary to introduce the corpuscle concept and the wave concept at 
the same time. In other words the existence of corpuscles accom- 
panied by waves has to be assumed in all cases. 

Centuries before, in the time of Newton, it had been recog- 
nized that light had a corpuscular nature, and yet that light 

* Uhlenbeck and Goudsmit, Natitrwiss, 13, 1925, p. 953. 
t The quotations from the Nobel lectures presented here and elsewhere in this 
book are taken from Nobel Lectures (Physics) 1922-1941, Elsevier Publishing 



was transmitted by waves in the aether. It was a real step 
forward to discover that corpuscles had an associated wave 
nature. The inevitable physical constant of such an association 
is Planck's constant, the quantity relating energy and frequency 
of light quanta. Veronnet's aether was, therefore, very much 
in evidence from de Broglie's discoveries. For de Broglie to 
say that 'a purely corpuscular theory does not contain any 
element permitting the definition of frequency' and then go on 
to endow it with its own wave properties is to ignore the aether. 
Or it may be a way of recognizing the electron and the aether 
as a co-operative whole. It is a question of one's viewpoint. 

Three years later on December 12, 1932, Dirac delivered his 
Nobel prize lecture under the title The Theory of Electrons 
and Positrons' including the words: 

It is found that an electron which seems to us to be moving slowly, 
must actually have a very high frequency oscillatory motion of small 
amplitude superimposed on the regular motion which appears to us. 
As a result of this oscillatory motion, the velocity of the electron at 
any time equals the velocity of light. This is a prediction which can- 
not be directly verified by experiment, since the frequency of the 
oscillatory motion is so high and its amplitude so small. 

Dirac attributed this viewpoint to Schroedinger but Einstein 
also had proposed an explanation of de Broglie's wave formula- 
tions in 1925.* Einstein imagined the electron as belonging to a 
Galilean reference frame oscillating at a frequency determined 
from the electron rest mass energy and the Planck relationship, 
and being everywhere synchronous. Thus Dirac, Schroedinger 
and Einstein all seem prepared to recognize that particles of 
matter may have a superimposed cyclic motion, as if belonging 
to some unseen reference frame which is oscillating at a very 
high frequency, which for electrons happens to be the frequency 
at which they are annihilated or created. 

One is tempted to argue from this that the aether which we 

spoke about in Chapter 4 as having a system of negative particles 

oscillating in harmony in a continuum of opposite charge is 

exactly in keeping with these wave mechanical ideas. If an 

* Paper at p. 3 of Berlin Sit:., 1925, but sec also reference by Sir Edmund 
Whittaker in History of the Theories of Aether and Electricity, 1900-1926, Nelson, 
London, 1953, p. 215. 


electron is swept into the negatively charged system and shares 
its oscillations it can well display wave properties. Certainly, 
the ideas proposed for the origins of the earth's magnetism must 
gain support from this link with de Broglie's wave mechanical 

However, we must return to the mathematical techniques 
which led to the bold discoveries of Dirac. We will omit the 
mathematics in the following quotation from his Nobel prize 
lecture and capture those words (paraphrasing some) which will 
show how his argument is developed: 

We begin with the equation connecting kinetic energy and momen- 
tum of a particle in relativistic classical mechanics. . . . From 
this wc get a wave equation of quantum mechanics, by letting the 
left-hand side operate on the wave function. . . . With this under- 
standing the wave equation reads . . . but a wave equation must be 
linear in certain terms and this is not. . . Let us try a new equation 
this involves four new variables which we use as operators . . . now 
assume certain relationships between these variables . . . this is linear 
and it makes the equations equivalent to a certain extent . . . the new 
variables which we have to introduce to get a relativistic wave equa- 
tion linear in . . ., give rise to the spin of the electron . . . the variables 
also give rise to some rather unexpected phenomena concerning the 
motion of the electron. These have been fully worked out by Schroe- 
dinger. It is found . . . 

Here the quotation develops into the one already presented. 
Dirac invented a mathematical equation, found it could be 
adapted to fit the observations and then concluded that the 
terms in his equation actually give rise to physical phenomena. 
He has provided the mathematics needed to fit the facts. All that 
remains is for someone to provide the physics which will fit 
this mathematics. All we need is enough understanding of the 
aether and wc might find what is needed. But, oddly enough, 
the modern physicist thinks the work is already finished. He is 
not interested in the physics and is quite content with his 

Dirac himself had more to say. His eye for symmetry allowed 
him to extract more from his mathematics. Continuing from 
his lecture: 



We now make the assumptions that in the world as we know it, 
nearly all the states of negative energy are occupied, with just one 
electron in each state, and that a uniform filling of all the negative 
energy states is completely unobservable to us. Further, any un- 
occupied negative-energy state, being a departure from conformity, 
is observable and is just a positron. 

The positive electron or positron had just been discovered 
earlier that year by Anderson and Millikan, working in Cali- 
fornia analysing cosmic radiation. Dirac's mathematical 
scheme thus explained the positron as well. One might wonder 
how a physicist or an engineer can come to terms with the idea 
of negative energy, particularly when it is attributed to the 
fundamental sub-stratum of our universe and is not merely a 
change in energy due to displacement from an arbitrary position. 
However, be that as it may, Dirac's theory commanded atten- 
tion and was taken as meaningful by those best able to judge. 
Dirac did, however, not claim that his mathematics could 
explain the neutral particle, the neutron of the atomic nucleus, 
which had been discovered by Chadwick that very same year, 
1932. It is interesting to note that when Chadwick received his 
Nobel prize for this very discovery in 1935 he said about the 
neutron : 

A structure of this kind cannot be fitted into the scheme of the 
quantum mechanics, in which the hydrogen atom represents the only 
possible combination of the proton and the electron. 

This was in spite of the fact that Fermi had been at work suggest- 
ing in 1934 that the neutron and the proton were the same 
particle in two different quantum states. But we have more to 
quote from Dirac's lecture, and it is particularly important in 
view of our account of the creation of the solar system as 
presented in Chapter 5. 

If we accept the view of complete symmetry between positive and 
negative electric charge so far as concerns the fundamental laws of 
Nature, we must regard it rather as an accident that the earth (and 
presumably the whole solar system), contains a preponderance of 
negative electrons and positive protons. It is quite possible that for 
some of the stars it is the other way about, these stars being built up 
mainly of positrons and negative protons. In fact, there may be half 


the stars of each kind. The two kinds of stars would both show 
exactly the same spectra, and there would be no way of distinguishing 
them by present astronomical methods. 

Now, this is only speculation. Symmetry has meaning in 
mathematics but we have to be cautious in physics. Dirac's 
mathematics pertain to an aether as much as they do to the 
systems of matter we can see. If the aether had regions with 
polarity of charge inverted, would the boundaries between these 
regions be stable? Boundary conditions are of vital importance 
to the physicist. The mathematician can examine his ideal 
regions, his singularities, and forget the practical boundary 
problems. This is where Relativity fails, as we shall presently 
see. The chances are that with the aether of mixed polarity there 
would be an over-riding tendency towards uniformity rather 
than symmetry. Aether in which positrons and anti-protons 
predominate might be squeezed out of existence as the boundar- 
ies move to convert it to aether pervaded by electrons and 
protons. We are speculating, of course, but we are thinking in 
physical terms, not mere mathematical notions of symmetry. 
Perhaps, then, it is in the sun and all the other stars that this 
fight between the aethers is raging. The polarity inversion may be 
occurring at the spherical boundaries between aether at the solar 
surface and hence energy may be unleashed from the aether 
itself as by-products of the basic particles of charge are produced 
to create and illuminate the universe. It is not our task to pursue 
this here. We have examined how Dirac approached the problem 
of explaining the properties of electrons. What he discovered 
may, or may not, be an answer. It may only be itself a philosophi- 
cal problem. In any event, Dirac became the man most com- 
petent to speak about the origins and the nature of the electron. 
It is, therefore, of particular interest to see what he has to say 
about the electron a little later in 1938 when he is examining 
electron radiation properties. It is the question of energy 
radiation which is attracting attention at the present time. 
Hence the importance of this question. But we will come to that 
in Chapter 10. First, we will digress a little to philosophize 
about physics. This diversion seems appropriate because ideas 
of the cosmos have been our prime concern in the previous 


chapters. Now we are turning away from these grand matters 
of our direct experience and what we can observe in astro- 
nomical telescopes to the uncertain realm of the microcosmos, 
the physics of what we cannot see. We want neither occult 
techniques nor fiction, but, instead, experimental techniques 
and fact. We must be able to distinguish fact from fiction to 
make certain progress in our endeavour. 

For those equipped to understand the language in which the 
physical nature of our environment is currently portrayed, 
physics is a most fascinating subject. The secrets of our origins 
and destiny are undoubtedly contained in the ultimate solution 
of the fundamental problems of physics. Concepts such as space, 
time, energy, matter and electric charge all play a prime role in 
the physicists' world, but the secrets of the reality contained 
in these concepts will not be discovered merely by thought 
processes. Man must examine and re-examine the system of 
Nature which has revealed them and reach his conclusions 
without adding unnecessary complexities contributed only by 
his mind. The fundamental nature of things is likely to be simple, 
just as complex products result from random or selective 
aggregations of simple constituents. However, although it is 
said that truth is stranger than fiction, one can but wonder at 
both the strangeness and the truth of modern physical theory. 
If the reader who is well versed in physical theory can honestly 
say that he understands the accepted explanations for the physi- 
cal nature of phenomena then he will have little interest in this 
book. But few physicists can really be wholly satisfied with the 
representative works of modern physical theory. Doubt and 
uncertainty must confront the majority and this book may 
provide some appeasement if not inspiration to those interested 
in thinking about physics. 

Perhaps the real measure of our understanding of physics 
is our ability to convey such understanding to the younger 
generation. Let us then consider what is perhaps the first physical 
phenomenon to be introduced to the child without the backup of 
assured knowledge about its nature and cause. Magnetism 
should arouse tremendous curiosity, both in our childhood and 
in later years, if we really care about Nature's properties. The 


magnet has aethereal powers. It attracts iron and exerts its 
influence across empty space or even through material bodies. 
Yet how do we explain magnetism to a child? We cannot. We 
only demonstrate it. How do we explain magnetism to an adult? 
If he is conversant with the terminology of physics and he 
researches in the textbooks on the subject he will find it hard to 
discover an explanation that can evoke understanding. He will 
find it has some dependence upon what is termed an 'Exclusion 
Principle' for which we are indebted to a scientist named Pauli. 
This principle in its turn can be demonstrated in its application 
in physical theory. Its use can, therefore, be understood, but 
how can one understand the physical reason for the applicability 
of the principle without going deeper into the problem? We 
must be careful not to translate one problem into another and 
then think we have explained something. Progress results if 
we translate two problems into one common one, and then only 
if the common problem is one of physics and not merely one of 
mathematics. So-called principles do tend to be more mathe- 
matical than physical, and one can hardly explain mathematics 
by physics. 

Looking through one of the most significant treatises on 
magnetism (dated 1966) we find the following statement:* 

About a generation has elapsed since it became recognized that the 
major agency responsible for ferro- and antiferromagnetic behaviour 
of materials is the Pauli exclusion principle, which makes the spatial 
and momentum distributions of a group of electrons dependent on 
the relative orientations of their spins. 

This statement will undoubtedly be endorsed by physicists 
working in this particular field. They can even explain what it 
means, but they are unlikely to say more than is said in the rest 
of this treatise on magnetism. One can understand what they 
say, but does this mean that one understands magnetism itself? 
Many words and ideas are used in the explanation and they 
have no direct connection with what is observed in Nature. 
By some mental exercise one can forge links between Nature 
and certain principles and notions of man's own and then 
apply these to explain something else. But how do we know the 

* Page I, Vol. 4, Magnetism, Rado and Suhl, Academic Press, New York, 1966. 


links thus forged are sound? Are these links founded in fact or 
fiction? Perhaps it does not matter, except that man has 
developed some linking concepts which are, to say the least, 
rather weird and complex. The nature of magnetism is, hope- 
fully, not as complicated as the above-mentioned treatise 
suggests. Physics has become so complicated that the future 
must see attempts to scrap much of the presently accepted work 
and try again to find something less complex. In the meantime 
the newcomer to the subject should try to adapt his viewpoint 
to extract what is of value in recorded physics. The facts of 
experiment unadulterated by theoretical correction have to be 
sifted from the data available. Theoretical introductions to 
the facts of the subject are to be viewed with special 

The ultimate understanding of Nature will have to be one 
which relates natural phenomena to a minimum number of 
physical concepts. In the days before the discrete particle nature 
of electric charge it was the object of natural philosophy to 
portray phenomena in terms of mechanical principles. Before 
Newton's time there was a more direct reference to basic 
features of experienced phenomena. Fire, earth, water were 
typical elements on which physical theory was founded. With 
the discovery of the electron we could advance to efforts to 
relate all physics to fundamental electric charges and their 
mutual interactions. Yet, surprisingly, there has been little of 
lasting acceptance to emerge from these attempts at physical 
unification. The object remains as a challenge but inspiration has 
not matched the task. And yet, Nature should be simple and it 
should not be difficult to understand its fundamental 

In this book we shall forge ahead in this enquiry to the point 
where we even find a way of explaining mass itself in terms of 
electrical action. We will arrive there by asking questions and 
finding simple answers, by not accepting too readily what others 
have accepted too readily. We will move first to an explanation 
of the nature of the physical force interaction between two 
bodies, taking note of some words in Newton's Principia 



That one body may act upon another at a distance through a vacuum, 
without the mediation of anything else, ... is to me so great an 
absurdity, that I believe no man, who has in philosophical matters a 
competent faculty for thinking, can ever fall into. 

The reader may be sceptical about what has been said in this 
chapter. We have criticized the abstract methods of Dirac, 
made reference to de Broglie's endowment of electrons with a 
wave property and come to Newton for support in advocating 
the existence of a real aether. Progress in physics may, indeed, 
require the physicist to backtrack in his ideas. As recently as 
March 1971, de Broglie wrote at page 149 of Physics Bulletin: 

Everything becomes clear if the idea that particles always have a 
position in space through time is brought back. . . . The movement 
of the particle is assumed to be the superposition of a regular move- 
ment . . . and of a Brownian movement due to random energy 
exchanges which take place between the wave and a hidden medium, 
which acts as a subquantum thermostat. 

Now, if de Broglie has to appeal to a hidden medium which 
exchanges energy with matter, and this in 1971, is not there 
purpose in reviving the aether with real fervour? We are now 
half way through this text on Modern Aether Science. The role 
of the aether in large-scale, cosmic phenomena has been 
presented. More will be said about this in Chapter 16. Now, 
however, whether prompted by de Broglie or Newton, the role 
of the aether on the microcosmic scale has been introduced and 
we are ready to see where this takes us. 


The Law of Force 

In this modern age of science we really should be able to say 
that we know how to work out the force which one electric 
particle exerts on another. But can wc? We know that like 
charges repel and that unlike charges attract according to the 
law named after Coulomb. The force of interaction between 
charges at rest varies inversely as the square of their distance 
apart. Do we know the law of interaction for discrete charges 
which are both in motion? Wc can hardly explain the physics of 
diverse phenomena in terms of a common relation with a 
particle system of electric charge unless we can answer this 
question with a firm 'yes'. Explaining Nature in terms of electric 
charge behaviour is physics. The mathematician knows how his 
symbols interact so he has no problem creating his theories of the 
universe. The physicist has problems finding the facts and even 
finding how to express the facts, because we are not quite sure 
any more what we mean when we talk of a particle in motion. 
Motion is a relative quantity and requires a reference frame. 
Do we have to specify a reference frame to develop physics? 
The answer to this is affirmative for the problem with our two 
electric charges, unless we expect to find that the interaction 
force is the same whichever frame we choose. In Nature it 
might be that the force does not depend upon our choice of 
reference frame and then we need not confuse our basic question 
by digressing in this way. Experiment should provide the answer. 

Early in the twentieth century Trouton and Noble (1903) 
relied upon accepted electrodynamic theory in performing a 
relevant experiment. They found that the interaction forces 
between opposite charges on the plates of a moving capacitor 
did not depend, as was expected, upon the orientation of the 
capacitor in space. The capacitor was carried through space 



with the earth at a speed which could have resulted in electro- 
magnetic interaction permitting detection but it was evident 
that the earth's speed did not figure in the electrodynamic 
interaction. It was as if the reference frame was not important. 
However, this is like proving experimentally that two plus two 
is not four. There must have been error in the logic of our 
deduction. If the reference frame does not matter we can 
examine a law of electrodynamic interaction between two 
charges moving at different velocities and choose one which is 
at rest relative to one of the interacting charges. Then we 
would have concluded that the force between a charge at rest 
and one in motion is the same as that between the two charges 
if an equal velocity component is added to both. Since the inter- 
action force can be divided into components by pairing off the 
interactions between the original and additional velocity 
quantities, we see that three interactions have been added to the 
basic one and that these three must together sum to zero. Since 
this has to apply for any possible basic system so that there are 
numerous parameter combinations in the various sets of three 
interactions, it must be that each of these interaction components 
is zero. In short, we can argue that only the basic Coulomb 
interaction force can exist from the findings of the Trouton- 
Noble experiment. On this argument we deny the existence of 
electromagnetic interaction between discrete charge and have 
experimental evidence on which to rely. However, we now have 
it that two zeros plus two zeros sum to more than four zeros, in 
effect, and the experiment thus interpreted proves nothing. 

On this basis we assert that there is electromagnetic inter- 
action between charges in motion and that this action varies 
with the velocities of the charges relative to a common reference 
frame. Did Trouton and Noble check the effect of moving the 
capacitor at different velocities relative to this common frame? 
They did not. In fact, taking the earth itself as a frame they did 
not move the capacitor at all. They merely assumed that the 
earth must be moving in space due to its motion with and 
about the sun. Their experiment showed that two discrete 
electric charges moving together with the same velocity must 
have an interaction force acting directly along the line joining 


the charges, as does the Coulomb force. Trouton and Noble 
must have used an incorrect law of electrodynamics. Alterna- 
tively, we admit but one reference frame to the experiment, the 
earth frame, and contend that we have proved nothing about 
electromagnetic interaction save that it adapts to a local refer- 
ence frame. 

Yet, although this is the logical outcome of a study of a 
famous and accepted experiment in physics, we find that neither 
of these alternatives is admitted by orthodox teaching. How, 
then, has history disposed of Trouton and Noble's findings? 
Perhaps the best answer to this question is to be found in Sir 
Edmund Whittaker's History of the Theories of Aether and 
Electricity. He notes that shortly before his death in February 
1901, Fitzgerald commenced to examine the phenomena 
exhibited by a charged electrical condenser, as it is carried 
through space by terrestrial motion. Magnetic theory prevailing 
at that time indicated the prospect of detecting the earth's 
motion through space from changes in torque on the condenser 
resulting from variations of its state of charge. Fitzgerald's 
pupil Trouton followed through with the experimental work 
but no effect of any kind could be detected. Whittaker then 
dismisses the subject by saying that the explanation of the 
result 'was rightly surmised by P. Langevin to belong to the 
same order of ideas as Fitzgerald's hypothesis of contraction'. 
The impossibility of determining the motion of the earth relative 
to the so-called aether then emerges as a principle of physics. 
Whittaker reports that Poincare, lecturing in St. Louis, USA 
in September 1904 named this principle 'The Principle of Rela- 
tivity'. Applying this principle, one has to override one's expecta- 
tions of results from the Trouton and Noble experiment. No 
torque can occur, as a matter of 'principle'. We need not, it 
seems, worry about our conclusions concerning the interaction 
of electric charges in motion. 

Thus history shows us that this important experiment was 
swept aside with daring abandon as the theory of physics suc- 
cumbed to invasion by Relativity. Sterile physical principles 
became the foundation stones for a new kind of physics, which, 
being Man's own fabrication rather than a replica discovered 


from Nature's own structure, is subject to erosion with the 
passage of time. 

The Trouton-Noble experiment reappears from time to time 
in the scientific literature. Writing in 1970, Strnad* demon- 
strates how there are difficulties in applying the Special Theory 
of Relativity to explain the null result of the experiment, and 
how it may be necessary to accept the added complication of a 
principle of virtual work suggested recently by Fremlin (1969).| 
It seems that there are doubts in applying the Principle of 
Relativity to a system at rest in our earth frame. Nothing 
happens by which we can detect our motion, so why should there 
be a problem to answer? Yet, those versed in Relativity do 
not seem ready to accept the basic principle. They go into all 
kinds of mathematics to explain their difficulties in working 
with Relativity. Page and Adams ( 1 945)J dealt with the paradox 
of theTrouton- Nobleexperimcnt ratherdiffercntly. They merely 
asserted that according to Relativity there should be no torque, 
consistent with the experimental result. Hence, without analysis, 
they were led to assert that the dielectric structure holding the 
charged capacitor plates apart must transmit some balancing 

The writer here submits the proposal that we really do not 
know what force exists between two electric charges due to their 
magnetic interaction. Physicists are lost. They need to take a 
fresh look at the problems and work out a new law of electro- 

Where do we stand in our effort to unify physics in terms of 
interaction between electric charge? We still have not reached 
an answer to our question: do we know the law of interaction 
force for discrete charges which are both in motion? The 
Trouton-Noble experiment should have at least suggested 
action along the line of separation for charges in parallel 
motion, but this prospect went adrift since the purpose of the 
experiment was not to pronounce on electrodynamic law but to 

* J. Strnad, Contemporary Physics, p. 59, 1970. 

■\ J. H. Fremlin, Contemporary Physics, p. 179, 1969. 

+ L. Page and N.I. Adams, Electrodynamics, Dover, p. 27S, in 1965 version of 
1945 edition. 


detect motion in the aether. What is curious is that the theory 
leading to the experiment was never questioned to its classical 
foundations as a result of the null findings. The theory should 
have been rechecked. Even more curious is the fact that the 
accepted versions of electrodynamic interaction laws between 
discrete charges in motion all give answers contrary to the 
findings of the Trouton-Noble experiment. Rather than 
modifications in the basic equations we have seen attempts to 
distort the experimental apparatus by the mystic action of the 
all-important principle. 

Let us look back at the origins of electrodynamic theory. 
We see that discrete charges are not isolated in experimental 
work to facilitate measurement between two and only two such 
charges. In fact, we are not even interested in this ourselves 
since all we need to know is the effective interaction force 
between pairs of charges in a populated system of charge. This 
is the additive component of the interaction. But, what we need 
to know is the interaction where charge in one part of the system 
is all moving with one velocity and charge in the other part 
of the system moves with another velocity. Our problem is that 
the classical law is deduced from experiments in which charge in 
one of the interacting systems moves in closed circuits and there- 
fore does not possess a unique velocity common to the system. 
Classical theorists, therefore, made assumptions about the 
direction of the force interaction between two isolated charges. 
They formulated many alternative laws of electrodynamics 
any one of which can explain the observed electrodynamic inter- 
action between electric charge in motion, provided one of the 
interacting charge systems is effectively a closed circuital current. 
The most famous of these laws was that of Ampere, but it is 
seldom used. Today we have turned to the intermediary use of 
the notion of a magnetic field, and usually combine two electro- 
magnetic rules, the left-hand rule and the right-hand rule, to 
work out the electrodynamic interaction between separate 
charges. However, even here we rely on one of the charges 
being effectively a closed loop of current. Had Ampere, or the 
others who had to make assumptions to formulate their laws, 
used the empirical fact later to emerge from the Trouton- 



Noble experiment, then they would have obtained a different 
law of electrodynamics. Necessarily, this law would give 
electromagnetic interaction along the line joining the interact- 
ing charges when both have the same velocity, that is, move 
parallel relative to the appropriate frame of electro-magnetic 
reference. The author has presented this law in several pub- 
lications* but popular attention has not yet been turned to the 
problem, even though unified physical theory is so much 
dependent upon knowledge of the interaction between electric 

It is startlingly easy to show where the opinions of the past 
went adrift. What we have to do is to take note of the fact that 
our two electrons can never exist in isolation. Whittaker seems 
very briefly to come close to this when he explains how Edding- 
ton used Mach's principle to approach the problem of gravita- 
tion :+ 

Eddington applied Mach's general principle to the interaction 
between two electric charges. If they are of opposite sign, all their 
lines of force run from one to the other, and the two together may be 
regarded as a self-contained system which is independent of the rest 
of the universe: but if the two charges are of the same sign, then the 
lines of force from each of them must terminate on other bodies in 
the universe, and it is natural to expect that these other bodies will 
have some influence on the nature of the interaction between the 

As we shall see in Chapter 11, where Mach's principle is 
discussed, it is really wrong to try to explain gravitation without 
first explaining the nature of mass. Our prime concern has to 
be electric interaction effects. Then, when we understand these 
we can hope to discover an understanding of the force of gravita- 
tion. It is permissible, nevertheless, to use the mathematical 
techniques developed for gravitational theory in our study 
of the effects of inverse square law actions between electric 

* The Theory of Gravitation, H. Aspden, Sabbcrton Publications, Southampton, 
1 960 ; "The Law of Electrodynamics', H. Aspden, Journal of the Franklin Institute, 
287, p. 179, 1969; Physics nil/tout Einstein, II. Aspden, Sabbcrton Publications, 
Southampton, 1969. 

t History of the Theories of Aether and Electricity, 1900-1926, E. Whittaker, 
Nelson, London, 1953, p. 151. 


It is a well known and easily-proved fact of particle dynamics 
that external forces will act on a system of two particles as a 
single force through the common centre of gravity and that any 
motion of the particles relative to this centre of gravity is 
completely independent of these external forces. Therefore, 
we have to be open to the possibility that, in analysing a two 
electron system in isolation, we can have a force communicated 
by the environment so as not to exert any turning moment on 
the system. 

This is the simple, logical and straightforward starting point 
to an analysis of the problem. It has apparently eluded recogni- 
tion in the past. Indeed, some theorists have gone out of their 
way to make it an absolute condition that no external out-of- 
balance force should act on the system as a whole. They have 
lived with Newton's maxim that action should balance reaction 
but forgotten the rider that this only applies to a complete 
system. They have assessed an incomplete system and found that 
their results do not have utility in explaining the behaviour of 
Nature, which evidently will not let itself be fragmented to 
suit the theoretical whims of the physicist. 

The force communicated by the field environment will divide 
into two equal components X acting separately on each electron, 
as depicted in Fig. 1. The centre of gravity of the system is 
midway between the two electrons because of their equal 
charges and masses and so the force components need to be 
equal to provide no turning action and need to sum to the total 
force exerted from outside. 



Fig. I 


Next, note that electrodynamic theory concerns actions 
additional to the Coulomb effects between charges. Usually we 
are dealing with current elements, that is charge moving in 
association with other local charge which provides an electro- 
static field cancellation. The result is that there can be Coulomb 
forces on the electrons in these circumstances, as when they are 
flowing in a conductor, but they must be embraced exclusively 
by the two vector forces X depicted in Fig. 1 . 

We are then left to consider the mutual magnetic effects of 
the two electrons. By working out the interaction of their 
magnetic fields and analysing how the interaction energy com- 
ponent changes with separation distance between the charges, 
we find that a direct force acts between them. This is denoted F 
in Fig. 1. The history books show that some workers, notably 
Helmholtz, worked along these lines and proposed F as the 
complete law of electrodynamics.* It was inadequate, of course, 
because it took no account of the forces X. To find X is quite 
simple. We merely consider energy deployment at each particle. 
The force components, the energy supplied and the energy ab- 
sorbed by the electrons must be compatible. The result presented 
in the Appendix at page 161 is a new general law of electrody- 
namics which differs from those derived historically and based 
on other assumptions. But it is a law which not only gives all the 
right answers when adapted for use for studying interaction 
involving a closed circuital current; it additionally reduces to a 
form for which the forces X are zero when the current elements 
represented by the electrons move in parallel directions. The 
two velocities u and v in Fig. 1 then are parallel. The result of 
the Trouton-Noble experiment clearly conforms. Hence, in 
electrodynamic terms we arrive at a law of attraction conform- 
ing exactly with the form of Newton's law of gravitation for a 
common condition of all interacting elements. This condition is 
satisfied if all mass is associated with a related electric charge 
moving harmoniously in synchronous circular orbit. Charge 
in such motion was the key to Veronnet's aether, as presented 
in Chapter 4 to explain the earth's magnetism. Hence, we have 

* F alone is inadequate to explain the circuital laws but Helmholtz's formula- 
tion would have explained the null result of the Trouton-Noble experiment. 


our clue to understanding gravitation. It is beyond the scope 
of this work, but it is possible to derive the Constant of Gravita- 
tion in terms of the charge/mass ratio of the electron and thus 
provide convincing evidence in support of such a theory of 
gravitation. This is presented in detail in the author's recent 
book Physics without Einstein. 

A concluding remark, perhaps needed to dispel some doubts, 
is that the above views are not refuted because an electrical 
current will turn a coil in a magnetic held. To develop the 
turning moment here there are at least three current interactions, 
two current elements in the coil and one developing the field. 
No two alone will develop a torque between them. The coil will 
never turn itself. Nor will the whole system including the source 
of the field ever turn itself due to its own interactions. 


Boundaries of Relativity 

In the concluding pages of the previous chapter we escaped 
losing ourselves in the abstract world we entered earlier. We 
arrived at a conclusion about the law of electrodynamic inter- 
action between electric charge in motion without even defining 
what we meant by motion. It was a natural result of being 
satisfied that our theory fitted what we saw. Electrons in motion 
can be measured. Their velocity is determined from a knowledge 
of their mass, their charge and their centrifugal behaviour when 
deflected by an electric or magnetic field. Velocity is measured 
relative to the earth frame, the frame from which we make most 
of measurements in physics. It is the frame we have in mind 
when we speak of motion. Philosophically we may wonder if the 
same laws of physics would apply if measurements were made on 
the surface of the moon. It seems quite probable because test 
apparatus sent to the moon appears to function there much as it 
does on earth. Therefore, philosophically, we can accept the 
Principle of Relativity or we can say that both the moon and the 
earth have their own aether moving with them and all physics 
are the same relative to this aether medium. Motion of electric 
charge really means motion relative to a frame of reference in 
the aether, if our interest centres on magnetic effects. This is 
hypothesis, but it is a good working hypothesis and it suits the 
ideas presented in Chapter 4. Nevertheless, we must admit that 
other ideas can have closer claim on the truth, until there is con- 
clusive evidence determining which is right. So we will be 
tolerant of Relativity and explore that subject further now. 

Let us stay with the problem of the force between two electric 
charges in motion. The reader may glance at the reference works 
available to him to find the textbook formulae for the inter- 
action force. But, search as he may, he will not find anything to 


prove that a formula has been verified by experiment. Therefore, 
the reader must keep a critical eye on the way the formulae are 

It will be found that there is an empirical formula for the 
force on an electric charge in motion in an electric and in a 
magnetic field. It is known as the Lorentz force equation. Being 
empirical, the equation has to be believed, having due regard for 
the restrictions imposed by the experimental techniques used. 
For example, we must remember that the magnetic field on 
which the empirical facts arc established is not produced by a 
single electron but by electric currents in closed circuits or by 
whatever it is that generates magnetic field inside a ferromagnet. 

Writing about this empirical equation. Dingle* said: 

This is not dcducible from the general equations of the field accord- 
ing to classical theory, and has therefore to be ranked as an additional 
postulate. The modifications introduced by Relativity, however, 
remove the necessity for this, since, when the proper transformation 
equations are used, the force appears as a consequence of the change 
of the co-ordinate system. 

Now, this is a very powerful statement. To say that an empiri- 
cal equation of classical physics cannot be deduced from 
classical field theory is itself a challenging remark, and it cer- 
tainly is not true today. The force on an electric charge due to an 
electric field can be derived from classical field energy analysis. 
The force on the charge due to a magnetic field can also be 
derived by classical techniques, as was shown at the end of the 
previous chapter, provided, of course, we know the origins of 
the magnetic field or assume that it is produced by a circuital 
current. But, for Dingle to say that the force on an electron can 
be understood in the mere transformation of a co-ordinate 
system is unduly provocative. We should be in rebellion at this 
blatant suggestion that magnetism is an electric field viewed 
from a different reference system. But how can we rebel without 
weapons? Words and philosophy are no help against an estab- 
lished doctrine. Well, we do have weapons. We have our experi- 
mental facts, and we can disprove what Dingle says. First, note 
that if we can develop a magnetic field merely by transforming a 

* The Special Theory of Relativity, H. Dingle, Methuen, 1950, p. 79. 


co-ordinate system, we have contrived to do what Nature her- 
self cannot do. We have produced a field which is not character- 
istically dependent upon a source. We have assumed that all 
magnetic fields are generated, not by a discrete electric charge, 
but by some system defined by co-ordinates. We have invoked 
some kind of infinite electric fluid. It is, of course, the electric 
charge continuum introduced by Maxwell to explain his dis- 
placement currents. Maxwell's equations are the basis of the 
transformations used in Relativity to derive a magnetic field 
from an electric field and vice versa. But, of course, if you do 
this, you are no longer talking of magnetic fields produced by 
electrons or discrete charges in a system under analysis. You are 
assuming that all magnetic fields are in effect the same as those 
developed by a uniform electric charge in the aether medium. 
Well, they are not the same. To assume that they are the same 
will merely lead to a result which is correct only for those 
situations where the magnetic field is developed by a current 
which is a closed circuit one. The infinite current filaments of 
the notional charge continuum invoked by transforming 
Maxwell's equations are, mathematically, closed circuits. 

Evidently, Relativity denies the possibility that a magnetic 
field could develop a force on an electric charge along the direc- 
tion in which the charge is moving. Lorentz's formula says the 
magnetic force has to act at right angles to the motion. Yet, if the 
magnetic effect is produced by a charge following in line behind 
the first charge, there is no magnetic field along points in this 
line but there is an electrodynamic force between the charges. 
Many authors have provided experimental evidence of these 
forces. They appear as anomalous cathode reaction forces 
where electric discharges are under study. Furthermore, our 
understanding of the energy in a magnetic field should tell us 
that the interaction energy between two electric current elements 
when aligned is dependent upon their separation distance. If 
they comprise two electrons moving forward in the same line, 
they will have an electrodynamic force set against their mutual 
repulsive force. Also, if gravitation is an electrodynamic force 
action, as Einstein tried to show without success, we would 
expect gravitation to act between particles even though they are 


moving along a common line. All sense points to this result. 
Therefore, we must, indeed, be careful before accepting the 
Lorentz formulation. Since Relativity leads to the formula 
without any reservation, it shows the ineffectiveness of the 
relativistic method. 

Still, there is more criticism to come. If we follow Dingle, we 
should take the basic force on electric charge as the product of 
the strength of the charge and the electric field intensity. The 
transformations come after we have made this assumption. 
What experiment has ever shown that the force on a unit charge 
is simply the electric field intensity? The answer is 'none', so 
we have another questionable assumption on which relativistic 
argument is founded. The electric field intensity is actually 
defined as the measure of the force exerted on unit charge. The 
field is the imaginary connection between two interacting electric 
charges, themselves defined in terms of force. The definition of 
force in terms of field-charge interaction must seem valid. It is 
used so extensively in electrical theory. Yet it is not universally 
valid. There are hidden implications in the fundamental notions 
of classical field theory which will not permit the use of this 
simple basic fact without some reservation. Curiously, the 
reservations only seem to impact Relativity, because classical 
theory tends to start out with charge as the source of electric 
fields, whereas Relativity pulls field out from nowhere by the 
magic of abstract transformations of reference frames. 

The reader who is interested should trace through classical 
theory to find how the ideas of a field and field energy are recon- 
ciled with the forces acting between electric charges. He will find 
that inevitably the charges involved have to be specified and 
that inevitably there are boundary conditions to take into 
account. This is seen immediately if we consider a uniform 
electric field. An electric particle in this field will have its own 
symmetrical field and the interaction field energy cannot be 
calculated without specifying the boundaries. If the boundaries 
are put at infinity, then the interaction energy is infinite. The 
force is determined by the change of energy when the particle is 
displaced. Hence, it is measured by the difference between two 
infinities, an indeterminate quantity. On the other hand, by 



symmetry, we see that the particle will not know where it is 
relative to the field and so cannot be under any force. Now, our 
problem has come about because we have invented a field. If we 
specify where the charge producing the field is located, then we 
have no problem. We can even develop a uniform electric field 
between two capacitor plates and work through the field energy 
analysis to find that there is the expected force on a particle of 
charge located between the plates. In fact, the usual formula for 
the force only applies because the boundary conditions permit 
the realization of an actual system of charge. The charge loca- 
tion or equivalent boundary conditions have to be capable of 

With Relativity, an electric field can be produced from a 
magnetic field by transforming co-ordinates. What this means in 
terms of redistribution of electric charge and charges in boun- 
dary conditions defies interpretation. Possibly a planar charge 
distribution suddenly appears as if we all live between the 
remote parallel plates of an imaginary capacitor. Possibly this 
problem is not important. Relativity may only be a convenient 
symbology by which to relate physical concepts. But it should 
not then be used to explain the nature of physical phenomena. 
Boundary conditions cannot be ignored in applying Relativity. 

For those readers who remain sceptical and think Einstein's 
theory inviolate, it is appropriate to note that Einstein himself 
alerted us to the boundary difficulties. Einstein died in 1955 but, 
in an appendix he added to the fifth edition of his Meaning of 
Relativity (1956 with preface dated December 1954), he wrote 
in his concluding remarks at page 164: 

A field theory is not yet completely determined by the system of field 
equations. . . . Should one postulate boundary conditions? . . . With- 
out such a postulate, the theory is much too vague. In my opinion the 
answer to the question is that postulation of boundary conditions is 

He goes on to give support for this argument and thereby 
points to the need for further research. 

It must be accepted that the relativistic derivation of the 
Lorentz equation is on an inadequate foundation. The empirical 
law of electrodynamics, as developed by the author w ith logical 


theoretical foundations, seems to be the correct law for dealing 
with interaction between isolated charges in motion. The 
reader is, therefore, warned to be cautious about believing the 
theoretical ramifications thrust at him in the textbooks on 
Relativity. So much of physics depends upon the interaction of 
electric charge that you just have no way of founding physical 
theories of Nature if you set out with the wrong law of electro- 

Care is needed because physicists are human and they make 
mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, and it is particularly easy 
in theoretical research. The researcher is setting off on a journey 
in the dark along an uncharted road. If he gets lost, he has no 
one to put him back on the right track until someone else comes 
down the same road, goes back, finds a better road and bothers 
to come back again to collect the lost soul. All this takes time, 
centuries of time, and with so many people rushing around, all 
lost at once, the chances of sorting things out are reducing rather 
than increasing. But there is an added difficulty. There are 
those who go along the right road and come back to invite 
others to follow. Yet they will not follow because someone 
already out of reach has assured everyone that he has explored 
that same path and found nothing. There is imperfect recollec- 
tion of what he really reported but it still daunts the willingness 
to believe the more favourable reports. Such is the world of the 
physicist unless he is a recognized explorer of the jungle and can 
take a large follow ing with him wherever he may go. 

I am, incidentally, thinking of certain characters and experi- 
ences of my own in putting together the above observations. 
The man now out of reach is the Reverend Samuel Earnshaw 
(1805-1888). He left behind him an interesting proposition, 
generally referred to as Earnshaw's theorem. According to this 
theorem, an isolated electric charge cannot remain in stable 
equilibrium under the action of electrostatic forces only. 1 found 
my papers being rejected because my discoveries were in conflict 
with Earnshaw's law. Hence, the question, 'Who was Earn- 
shaw? 1 Well, this same question had troubled someone else. 
W. T. Scott had undertaken the task of tracing Earnshaw's 
work to find the source of this great theorem. He describes his 


difficulties and his eventual success in a paper published in the 
American Journal of Physics in 1959 under the title 'Who Was 

He found a treatise published by Cambridge University Press 
in 1879 which made reference to the reading of a paper before 
the Cambridge Philosophical Society in 1839, and later pub- 
lished in their Transactions at pp. 97-1 14 in volume 7 of 1842. 
Earnshaw's paper was entitled: 'On the Nature of the Molecular 
Forces which regulate the Constitution of the Luminiferous 
Ether'. Earnshaw proved that the aether could not constitute 
electric charges retained in relatively stable configuration, if the 
forces acting between them are of the usual inverse square form, 
obeying Coulomb's law. For stability, the law of interaction 
force between the mutually attracted elements has to differ from 
that between mutually repelled elements. An inverse square law 
of gravitation will not hold a particle system stable against 
electrostatic forces of repulsion also according to the inverse 
square law. He concluded: 

It is therefore certain that the medium in which luminiferous waves 
are transmitted to our eyes is not constituted of such particles (acted 
on by purely inverse-square forces). The coincidence of numerical 
results, derived from a medium of such particles, with experiment, 
only shows that numerical results are no certain test of a theory, when 
limited to a few cases only. 

This is quoted to show that over a century ago the basic 
problems of the aether were being studied with vigour. Con- 
clusions were reached and their effects have echoed along the 
corridors of science and influenced the development of modern 
physics. We find that Jeans* has taken up Earnshaw's theorem 
by arguing that it denies the possibility of a stable union of 
discrete charge such as protons and electrons to form atomic 
nuclei. This is interesting, particularly because it is a modern 
quest to seek the discrete constituent charges deemed to form 
such nuclei. The search for quarks seems to be an effort mounted 
in ignorance or defiance of the great work of the Reverend 
Samuel Earnshaw. 

* Volume 27, p. 418. 

f Sir James Jeans, The Mathematical Theory of Electricity and Magnetism 
Cambridge University Press, 5th edition, p. 168. 



Now, I wish to explain where the physicist has gone wrong in 
applying Earnshaw's theorem. Firstly, Earnshaw himself was 
interested in an aether composed of particles of charge. The 
inverse square law of force was, logically, his only force relation. 
He proved that a system of particles could not be stable. Yet 
stability was a desirable aether property. But then he should 
have decided that the aether was not exclusively composed of 
particles. The aether we envisaged in Chapter 4 is a uniform 
charge continuum which is positive permeated by a system of 
identical electric charged particles, all negative. The positive 
charge is dispersed like a gas or fluid and, using the inverse 
square law, the mutual effects between this positive charge and 
the negative particles develops a restoring force on each such 
negative particle proportional to its displacement from a 
neutral position of stability in the continuum. Therefore, if the 
negative particles all move harmoniously about their respective 
neutral positions, we do have a stable system configured to 
explain the numerical values of the universal physical constants. 
Centrifugal force is in balance with the restoring force. The 
cycle time of the particle orbit is constant independent of dis- 
turbance, because the system is effectively a linear oscillator. 
Earnshaw's theorem is not violated because we have force 
relationships present which vary linearly with separation 
distance. We have a dynamic aether, but a stable one. 

The basis of Earnshaw's theorem seems to be an earlier 
theorem according to Gauss, and the use of some ideas em- 
bodied in what is termed Poisson's equation. Essentially, the 
argument is that we imagine an isolated electric charge held in 
stability at a point where we know no charge resides. Then we 
say that the slightest displacement would be resisted because the 
potential gradient would be directed away from this point and 
this means that the electric field has to be directed towards the 
point. But, since stability implies resistance to movement in any 
direction, the field acting on the charge has to converge on this 
point from all directions. This it can only do if there is an 
external charge at the point itself, which is impossible because 
that is where our supposedly stable charge is located. Hence the 
theorem about instability, 


The basis of the theorem is that the charge is isolated in free 
space. If the charge is surrounded by a sea of other charge, then 
the theorem fails. This has also been noticed by Scott, the man 
who traced Earnshaw's work. In a book dated 1966 he writes:* 

Jn a region of continuous charge distribution, a maximum or mini- 
mum could exist, but a continuous distribution is an idealization. We 
have to consider each electron or proton as an isolated charge, so 
that pure electrostatic equilibrium is impossible. 

We live in an age of abstraction but not one of idealization! 
Why should not the very space substance which permeates us 
and holds us together be an idealization? The aether should be 
as near to the ideal substance as our imagination can ever take 
us. Earnshaw's theorem tells us that if pure electrostatic equili- 
brium is possible, then space must comprise a plenum of electric 
charge. Earnshaw's theorem also tells us that if ever we find that 
an atomic nucleus is a simple stable aggregation of electric 
charges, then space must comprise a plenum of electric charge 
and we must believe the real aether exists. We cannot wish 
away our very existence because of erroneous interpretation of 
mathematical results. Earnshaw's work did not destroy the 
aether. It provided another means for recognizing this great 

The physicist has tried to build his physics upon the inter- 
action of electric charge but he got himself muddled when he 
drifted into mathematical arguments without following each 
stage carefully by physics. The physics can become muddled too 
if the physicist does not step back regularly to think what he is 
trying to do. For example, he expected that when the electron 
finally allowed us to measure its properties it would have an 
electric charge and a certain mass. Hopefully, all electrons 
would be the same. If they were not the same then, provided 
they could be grouped together in some logical order, they 
would have been given names in some kind of electron family. 
When success came, the satisfaction centred on the fact that the 
charge and mass of the electron could be measured and the 
degree of accuracy attained by the experiments. There should 

* W. T. Scott, The Physics of Electricity and Magnetism, Wiley, p. 43. 


have been satisfaction in greater measure at the discovery that, 
in fact, the electron was universally the same. This equality of 
all electrons is itself a physical phenomenon warranting explana- 
tion. Electrons can be created and annihilated, coming from 
and going into the void of space, absorbing or leaving mere 
energy in this exchange process. They come into being or die in 
company with the positron. They share their roles equally in 
this great vanishing trick which Nature performs to tantalize 
us. But why are they all the same, whether they are those 
performing in a laboratory in England or those performing in 
the United States? The simple answer is that there must be 
something shared by the environment in all the laboratories. 
This 'something' must be uniform in order that the parameters 
of the electrons created at different localities should be uniform. 
The origin of the electron must be a medium which is electrical 
in character and no amount of abstract thinking can avoid this 
conclusion. Relativity does not have the power to cross these 
boundaries either. The language of the aether is not Relativity. 
It is the physics of the electron, the properties of electric charge, 
which can reveal the secrets of the aether medium. 

We will, therefore, move closer to the problems of charge, 
mass and energy of the electron. We will ask ourselves why, if all 
electrons are alike, they contrive to stay alike when our theories 
tell us that they are radiating their energy all the time they are 
accelerated. How can they do this when we know they travel 
through superconductive metals without using any energy at 
all? Has the phenomenon of the apparently infinite conductivity 
of certain materials at certain low temperatures been explained 
by abstraction too ? Or can we be naive enough to suggest that it 
is atoms which radiate energy, not electrons, so that only when 
the thermal conditions of the atom allow it to be triggered into 
radiation by electron impact will we see any generation of the 
heat which manifests the property of electrical resistance? Let us 
proceed with the suspicious thought that electrons do not 
radiate energy and that those who say that mathematics prove 
otherwise have jumped to the wrong conclusions. 


Dime's Electron 

Dime's electron is an abstract product of his mathematical 
enterprise. The electron I have in mind is a sphere filled by 
electric charge. It is an electron which Dime, the authority on 
electrons, was able to dismiss in 1938* with the words: 

The Lorent/ model of the electron as a small sphere charged with 
electricity, possessing mass on account of the energy of the electric 
field around it. has pro\ed very valuable in accounting for the motion 
and radiation of electrons in a certain domain of problems, in which 
the electromagnetic field does not vary too rapidly and the accelera- 
tions are not too great. Beyond this domain it will not go unless 
supplemented by further assumptions about the forces that hold the 
charge of an electron together. No natural way of introducing such 
further assumptions has been discovered and it seems that the Lorentz 
model has reached the limit of its usefulness and must be abandoned 
before wc can make further progress. 

Dime's criticism is the problem of the forces that hold the 
electron together. This is an extremely basic question in physics. 
It defies explanation, until you have seen the very simplicity of 
the answer. Force and pressure are not primary phenomena. 
Force does not act instantaneously between electric charge. 
Force occurs only when energy changes and energy changes only 
when it can. The primordial parameters are taken here as space 
and electric charge. Given a volume of space occupied by electric 
charge, we can say that the mutual repulsion 'forces' in the 
charge will cause it to adopt spherical form. Yet, the volume 
and the charge jointly determine the energy and energy deter- 
mines the form. To explain this, imagine a definite volume of 
space bounded by fixed walls, as depicted in Fig. 2. Within these 
walls we presume there to be a medium filling the space except 

* 'Classical Thcorv of Radiating Flections'. 1\ A. M. Dirac, Proc. Rov. Sac, 
167, p. 148, 1938. 



for a sphere occupied by a definite quantity of electric charge. 
Instead of regarding the charge as self-repulsive, assume that it 
develops energy in the surrounding field. If this field energy can 

change, then the charge can redeploy. Reduction of the field 
energy by transfer of energy to some other form can result in the 
charge expanding, as we understand by the notion of a repulsive 
force action. But there has to be reason for energy change. We 
take it that the charge has the character of preserving itself, of 
moving to conserve its energy if subject to extraneous influence. 
This is the subject of the next chapter. However, here we make 
the point that the charge cannot expand unless the space it 
occupies, the sphere bounding it, expands first. If it did expand 
without such assistance, its energy would disperse and there 
would be no discrete electric charges in the whole of our 
universe. We must take note of the fact that electrons and many 
other elementary charged particles are stable. Force arises only 
when energy changes and this is only when motion can occur to 
permit the change. 

Now, if the walls of the system depicted in Fig. 2 move out- 
wards, it is a different story. The particle of charge will become 
unstable. Jt will expand and release energy. Of course, in Nature, 
the imaginary space is full of charges. They can interact without 
change of volume. They occupy the same volume whether they 
are close together or far apart. Hence their interaction energy 
can change to develop forces between the charges which we 
measure and from which we reduce Coulomb's law. If the walls 

Fig. 2 


of space expand, first one and then another of the charges will 
expand by a statistical process. As soon as the first one starts to 
expand it will act to fill the space by displacing the filling medium 
and so restrain other particles of charge from expanding at the 
same instant. We are here envisaging a process of expansion of 
the universe by which more space is constantly created as the 
plenum of electric charge constantly, but statistically with its 
transiently stable states, expands to keep voids from forming. 

Returning to Dirac, we can say that Nature keeps the electron 
charge tightly together for our purposes and, while it is useful to 
have an explanation even coupled with assumptions, the fact 
does remain that the Lorentz model of the electron can survive 
as a viable idea. Quoting further from Dirac's paper: 

One of the most attractive ideas in the Lorentz model of the electron, 
the idea that all mass is of electromagnetic origin, appears at the 
present time to be wrong, for two separate reasons. First, the dis- 
covery of the neutron has provided us with a form of mass which it is 
very hard to believe could be of electromagnetic nature. Secondly, 
we have the theory of the positron — a theory in agreement with 
experiment so far as is known — in which positive and negative values 
for the mass of an electron play symmetrical roles. This cannot be 
fitted in with the electromagnetic idea of mass, which insists on all 
mass being positive, even in abstract theory. 

Neutrons are believed by some authorities to be electrically 
neutral aggregations of discrete electric charges of opposite 
polarities. This is the basis of what has come to be called quark 
theory, but we do not have to believe all about quarks to accept 
this aggregation idea. Furthermore, as we observed in Chapter 
9, the current belief was that Earnshaw's theorem denied the 
possibility of stable aggregations of this kind and this belief is 
ill-founded. Also, since Dirac w rote the above words it has been 
discovered that a neutron can be diffracted by a magnetic field 
and this does suggest that it has an electrical form. Certainly, it 
is not by any means reasonable to argue today that the mass of 
the neutron is not characteristic of its electrical nature. Dirac's 
second point, that the theory of the positron implies an electron 
of negative mass, is hardly pertinent. It merely sets his theory 
against the logical and physically founded concepts of the ever- 


positive mass effect of electromagnetic field energy. It is like 
saying that his theory conflicts with the other one and is correct 
solely for this reason. 

Then Dirac, whose object is covered by the title of his paper, 
'Classical Theory of Radiating Electrons' goes on to say how it 
is desirable to assume a point model for the electron to avoid the 
unnecessary complication of not having the field equations he 
uses 'holding all the way up to the electron's centre'. 

At this stage we must pause for reflection. We are examining 
Dirac's thoughts on the question of energy radiation by the 
accelerated electron. Dirac wants to use a point charge electron 
whose mathematical portrayal invokes field equations applicable 
throughout space. That is, boundary problems are to be put 
aside. The reader, if he is tuned into the author's viewpoint, 
may wish to retain the electron as a sphere of electric charge, if 
only because it is easier to imagine a finite object than a mere 
point surrounded by mathematical equations. These differences 
are important if we arc to end up with something meaningful. 

Dirac then runs into the obvious problem that the energy of 
the electron would become infinite if Maxwell's theory is to 
hold. The self-energy of an electric charge is inversely propor- 
tional to the spacing between its charge elements. The spacing is 
zero if the charge is concentrated at a point. So Dirac declares 
that he does not want to reject Maxwell's theory and that he 
will try to overcome the difficulty by mathematics. He writes: 

Our aim will be not so much to get a model of the electron as to get a 
simple scheme of equations which can be used to calculate all the 
results that can be obtained from experiment. 

This seems an appropriate objective, but we are looking at a 
paper about energy radiation by electrons and it is a fact that no 
one has ever, even to this day, measured experimentally energy 
radiated by discrete electrons. Energy transfer associated with 
radiation, which in its turn is associated with the excitation of 
electrons in test apparatus, has been observed, but when Dirac 
speaks of calculation it is not merely energy transfer which has 
to result from his equations. It is quantitative data of energy 
transfer which permits verification by experiment and theory on 



this is an idle pursuit if we have no way of relating this to the 
specific number of electrons present and contributing.* 
Dirac then brings us to the following statement: 

A great deal of work has been done in the past in examining the 
general implications of Maxwell's theory, but it was nearly all done 
before the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925, when people 
gave all their attention to the question of how an electron could 
remain in an atomic orbit without radiating —a question we now 
know can be answered only by going outside classical theory — and 
were thus not interested in simply looking for the most natural 
interpretation their equations would allow. 

This, indeed, is a statement which evokes comment. If every- 
one faced the question of how an electron could remain in an 
atomic orbit w ithout radiating, w hy is it that this was not taken 
as the clue to one of the most fundamental questions in physics, 
the question about the very nature of mass? The mass of the 
electron could well be that property it exhibits in moving to 
conserve its intrinsic electric field energy and so its charge. Why 
go outside classical theory to couple with quantum theory an 
over-riding restraint on energy radiation? Why bother inter- 
preting equations? If an electron in an atomic orbit does not 
radiate energy then an electron need not radiate energy whether 
accelerating by moving steadily in a circular orbit or accelerating 
in a straight line. This is the simple interpretation and, if 
equations indicate otherwise, we must question whether they are 
built upon erroneous assumptions. 

However, Dirac did not do this. He was writing about the 
radiation of energy by electrons according to classical theory 
and if atomic electrons did not radiate energy quantum radia- 
tion assumptions were too easy a way of avoiding the problem. 
Dirac wanted to stay with the mathematical equations and draw 
meaning from them. He even added strength to the classical 
theory by using relativistic principles to derive the usual expres- 
sion for energy radiation according to Lorentz's theory, and he 
wrote : 

* Sec discussions of Cerenkov radiation in Chapter 12. 



Whereas these equations, as derived from the Lorentz theory, are 
only approximate, we now see that there is good reason for believing 
them to be exact, within the limits of classical theory. 

Then, on the next page of his paper: 

As an interesting special case, let us suppose there is no incident field, 
so that we have the equations of motion . . .* In general the electron 
will not now be moving with constant velocity, as it would according 
to ordinary ideas, since we may suppose it to be started off with 
a non-zero acceleration and it cannot then suddenly lose its 

This is a fantastic result to anyone accustomed to Newtonian 
mechanics. Dirac realizes this when he then writes: 

To study the rather unexpected results of the preceding section more 
closely. ... It would appear that we have a contradiction with 
elementary ideas of causality. The electron seems to know about the 
pulse before it arrives and to get up an acceleration (as the equations 
of motion allow it to do), just sufficient to balance the effect of the 
pulse when it does arrive. 

Surely this just cannot be believed. Dirac was basing his 
analysis upon acceptance of an idea presented by Schott in the 
Philosophical Magazine in 1 9 1 5.T Schott had analysed the 
problem of the incident electric field and wrote: 

This equation shows that the whole of the work done by the external 
field is converted into kinetic energy of the electron just as if there had 
been no radiation at all. None of it is radiated. . . . Thus we see that 
the energy radiated by the electron is derived entirely from its 
acceleration energy. 

Schott's idea was to provide the electron with an energy 
component he called 'acceleration energy' of which he said: 

Its existence is a direct consequence of a mechanical theory of the 

So convinced were the physicists involved in these studies that 
the electrons must radiate energy if accelerated that they had to 
look to the physical force exerted by a mechanical, as opposed to 

* These equations contained acceleration terms even though Dirac specifies no 
incident field able to exert force on the electron, 
f Vol. 29, pp. 49-62. 



an electrical, aether to call into account the sources of the energy 

So, here was Dirac in 1938, adopting the notion of an accelera- 
tion energy necessitating aether able to exert mechanically the 
forces needed to feed the energy being radiated and, apparently, 
missing the obvious fact that the easy way out of all the diffi- 
culties is to see that the electron does not radiate energy at all 
Dirac was addressing a problem which did not exist, and now 
sec where he was guided by his conclusions: 

The behaviour of our electron can be interpreted in a natural way 
however, if we suppose the electron to have a finite size. There is then 
no need for the pulse to reach the centre of the electron before it starts 
to accelerate. 

Yet he started his paper by saying that the electron should be 
deemed to be a point charge! Then he wrote: 

Mathematically, the electron has no sharp boundary and must be 
considered as extending to infinity. 

This is puzzling. It depends whether we have charee or energy 
in mind. If we have stayed with the model of the electron as a 
sphere of charge, we can see a finite electron, meaning the 
charge, and also see a field extending to infinity. 

Finally, Dirac concluded: 

In this way a signal can be sent from A to B faster than light. This 
is a lundamental departure hnmJh^nrAin^ i/kif^^aw;,,:/,, ^..^ 
is to be interpreted by saying that it is possible for a signal to be 
transmitted faster than light through the interior of the electron. The 
finite size of the electron now reappears in a new sense, the interior 
of the electron being a region of failure, not of the field equations 
of electromagnetic theory, but of some elementary properties of 

Space-time has failed. What does this mean ? How can space- 
time fail? If the space-time according to Relativity fails, then 
Relativity fails. But how can anyone accept the argument 
presented here by Dirac? It is submitted that the question of the 
radiation of energy by an electron was clarified by Dirac's 
paper to the extent that the paper demonstrated the impossible 
situation into which mathematical formalism can lead the 



physicist. Modern physical theory has become abstract. The 
starting points of the original papers on the subject are mathe- 
matical, the treatment is mathematical and the conclusions are 
mathematical. In many instances there seems to be no relation 
whatsoever to the phenomena which make up the world of 
experimental physics. Dirac has been bold enough to translate 
his findings into language which can be interpreted in the context 
of a true understanding of Nature. He has revealed a maze in 
which so many physicists seem to be wandering, following one 
another, without having any clear direction in which to go. It is 
due time that this was realized. This realization is the key to 
further progress, as we see in the next part of this work. 

Whereas Dirac, incidentally, declares that space-time fails 
within the electron but Maxwell's equations operate, Einstein, 
in his book The Meaning of Relativity, first published in 1922, 

We do know, indeed, that electricity consists of elementary particles 
(electrons, positive nuclei), but from a theoretical point of view we 
cannot comprehend this. We do not know the energy factors which 
determine the distribution of electricity in particles of definite size 
and charge, and all attempts have failed. If then we can build upon 
Maxwell's equations at all, the energy tensor of the electromagnetic 
field is known only outside the charged particles. It has been 
attempted to remedy this lack of knowledge by considering the 
charged particles as proper singularities. But in my opinion this 
means giving up a real understanding of the structure of matter. It 
seems to me much better to admit our present inability rather than to 
be satisfied by a solution that is only apparent. 

It should be mentioned that Dirac himself wrote in Scientific 
American in May, 1963: 

I might mention a third picture with which I have been dealing lately. 
It involves departing from the picture of the electron as a point and 
thinking of it as a kind of sphere with a finite size . . . the muon should 
be looked on as an excited electron. If the electron is a point, pictur- 
ing how it can be excited becomes quite awkward. 


The Nature of Mass 

The Einstein enthusiasts are very patronizing about the 'classical' 
electromagnetics and its ether, which they have abolished. But they 
will come back to it by and by. Though it leaves gravity out in the 
cold, as I remarked about 1901 ([ think), gravity may be brought in 
by changes in the circuital laws, of practically no significance save in 
some very minute effects of doubtful interpretation (so far). But you 
must work fairly with the Ether, and Forces, and Momentum, etc. 
They are the realities, without Einstein's distorted nothingness. 

Unpublished notes of Heaviside, March 1920* 

The modern idea of the nature of mass dates back to 1904, when 
Mach put forward the principle now named after him. It is still 
only an idea. The nature of mass, like its great property gravita- 
tion, is still a mystery to the physicist, the philosopher and the 

Let us examine a few authorities on the subject. First, what is 
Mach's principle? Sir Edmund Whittaker explains it thus:f 

According to Mach's principle as adopted by Einstein, the curvature 
of space is governed by physical phenomena, and we have to ask 
whether the metric of space-time may not be determined wholly by 
the masses and energy present in the universe, so that space-time 
cannot exist at all except in so far as it is due to the existence of 

Whittaker was writing in April 1953. Mass, space-time and 
energy stand or fall together as the basic elements of this fabric 

* The author is indebted to H. J. Josephs for his kindness in providing the 
above quotation from Heaviside's unpublished work as kept in the arehives of 
the library of the Institution of Electrical Engineers in London. Mr. Josephs 
wrote about Heaviside's manuscripts in 'Postscript to the work of Heaviside', at 
p. 51 1 of the December 1963 issue of the Journal of the Institution of Electrical 

t History of the Theories of Aether and Electricity, 1900-1926, F Whittaker 
Nelson, 1953, p. 168. 


which is us and our environment. The inertia of mass is due to 
the interaction of mass with all other mass in the universe. At 
about this time Sciama was writing his Ph.D. thesis at Cam- 
bridge 'On the Origin of Inertia':* 

Einstein's work . . . shows that inertia is connected with gravitation. 
However, as Einstein himself was the first to point out, general 
relativity does not fully account for inertia. Thus a new theory of 
gravitation is needed. 

Ten years later, in 1963, wc find Bondi writing:! 

What is gravity? ... We are more familiar with its effects than with 
perhaps the effects of any other force. Nevertheless, science finds it 
rather difficult to digest gravity, and our best modern theory of 
gravitation, Einstein's theory, is a very complete and beautiful theory 
that yet does not quite fit in with the rest of physics ... we do hope to 
gain much more insight once this great difficulty, this gap between 
the theory of gravitation and the rest of physics, has been closed. 

This was followed in 1964 by Hoyle:+ 

Einstein's mathematics has always been a complete unit in itself. It 
has remained an isolated corner of physics which nobody has suc- 
ceeded in relating in a really fruitful way to the rest of physics. 

Is this progress? Surely we should heed Heaviside. We must 
come back to the aether, to classical ideas, to the circuital laws 
of electromagnetism. We must cast Einstein's 'distorted nothing- 
ness' aside, and our prejudice as well, and think again. We must 
heed Dirac's conclusions in 1938 that the boundaries of the 
electron extend to infinity and that space-time fails in the 
'interior' of the electron. We must think again about the nature 
of this electron, and stop talking about signals travelling faster 
than light and particles being accelerated without accompanying 

At the Kelvin lecture of the Institution of Electrical Engin- 
eers delivered by Hoyle in 1970 he spoke of signals from the 
future. In a report published by the Institution we read:§ 

* Abstracts of Dissertations, 1953-1954, Cambridge University Press, 1956, 
p. 276. 

f See footnote reference on page 6. 
I See footnote reference on page 6. 
§ I EE News, p. 16, May 11, 1970. 



Such signals would affect the form of the laws of physics, whereas 
signals from the past merely give information. The basis of such 
speculation is an analogy with the familiar 'action and reaction' con- 
cept in classical mechanics. To be able to 'signal' to a distant object, 
something must be propagating from the object to the signaller— a 
signal from the future. The backwards propagation has never been 
observed because it is impossible to 'waggle' a charge in isolation; 
the rest of the universe is always present. In 1945 Wheeler and Feyn- 
man calculated that the effects of all 'backwards' signals from all the 
particles in the universe cancel exactly. Conversely the future com- 
pletely absorbs electromagnetic radiation. 

I cannot understand all this. 1 know that we still read about 
the difficulties of explaining how an electron sustains the energy 
it is supposed to radiate when accelerated. 1 suppose the distant 
universe has to feed in, by some kind of signalling system, the 
energy needed by the electron to sustain radiation. But is this not 
just another way of saying that the electron interacts with the 
aether so as not to radiate its energy? Why go about in such a 
roundabout fashion to say this simple thing? 

We should not explain gravitation without first finding the 
explanation for mass itself. We should not try to explain mass 
in terms of interaction with other mass, because that is to probe 
gravitation before we understand mass. We should, instead, 
explain mass in terms of electric charge, discarding Mach's 
principle for a new one. the principle we see in such clear 
evidence, the principle that an electric charge will move to 
preserve itself. It will react to electric disturbances in just such a 
way as to conserve its charge and its intrinsic energy. That is the 
principle revealed to us by Nature herself. All we have to do is to 
show that it accounts for the properties of inertia. It is easy to 
prove by mathematics* but, in view of the strong criticism 
levied against the mathematical approach in the previous 
chapters, we will proceed using pure physics. 

Surrounding an electric charge there is supposed to be what 
we call an electric field. Electric energy of the charge is deter- 
mined by multiplying the strength of this field by itself at every 
point and summing the resulting quantity over all surrounding 

* Physics without Einstein, H. Aspdcn, Subberlon Publications, Southampton 
1969, pp. 1 113. 


space. Energy and charge are the fundamental quantities, not 
field, but it does appear that the energy associated with electric 
charge has a spatial distribution which fits the above concept 
when taken with a vector field radiating uniformly from the 
charge. Also, the field apparently moves as an integral system 
with the charge when the latter is not accelerating. The system is 
depicted in Fig. 3. The field idea is useful when the interaction 
between two charges separated by a fixed distance is analysed. 
Then, by combining the field components of both charges before 
squaring and summing, the change of energy with separation 
distance can be calculated. Coulomb's law can be derived in this 

When the charge in Fig. 3 is accelerated a disturbance in the 
field is propagated outwards. We assume that the propagation 
is at the fixed speed of light. This is logical because we have 
specified charge and energy and need a third dimensional con- 
stant involving time. All physics can be linked by the use of 
three dimensional quantities. Mass, length and time are the 
familiar dimensions used, but, fundamentally, we can take 
electric charge, energy and a velocity parameter, if we prefer. 
The algebra of physics will take us from one system to the other, 
but given energy, the universal character of the velocity of light 
and the fundamental role of electric charge, it seems best not to 
stay witir mass, length and time in an endeavour to explain the 
nature of mass. 

Fig. 4 shows how the field of the charge in Fig. 3 is dis- 
torted by an infinitesimal pulse of acceleration in the direction 
V. The field depicted shows the position of the radiated field 
disturbance as it speeds outwards to its infinite destiny. When an 
electric charge is accelerated it emits field disturbances which 
set up waves in space. There are two imaginary spheres bounding 
the disturbance zone. The outer one is centred on a position the 
charge had immediately before receiving the acceleration pulse. 
The inner one is centred on a new related position to which the 
charge had moved at the incremental velocity during the period 
taken for the disturbance to spread to the zone under study. The 
radial distance between the two imaginary spheres is equal to 
the distance travelled at the propagation speed in the small 



Fig. 3 Fig. 4 

interval during which the acceleration occurs. We can ignore the 
non-concentricity of the spheres because the acceleration pulse 
would have to increase the velocity of the charge by an amount 
equal to the propagation velocity itself to make the eccentricity 
distance equal to the radial separation of the spheres. We are 
dealing with the effect of a small acceleration pulse, productive 
of small changes in velocity as we experience in Newtonian 

The field lines in Fig. 4 radiate from the centres of the two 
spheres and are accordingly distorted, as shown, in the dis- 
turbance zone. Now, in effect we can separate the field into two 
systems, one of the form of Fig. 5 and another of the form shown 
in Fig. 6. The field directions of these two systems are ortho- 
gonal at all points. Thus, considering energy, we can square 
and add components separately using Pythagoras 7 Theorem. We 
then see how the disturbance has its own added energy in a 
wave zone. The total field energy of Fig. 5 must be the same as 
that of the non-accelerated charge, by comparison with Fig. 3. 
We have the added field components of Fig. 6 to consider, and 
these must, it would seem, add energy which is radiated out- 
wards as the zone goes off to infinity. 

Since we are portraying the process of energy radiation, we 
can easily see that deceleration will still send energy outwards. 
The radiation process is irreversible. Using mathematics this 
model can also yield the accepted formula for energy radiation. 
The method presented here has been attributed to J. J. Thorn- 




Fig. 5 

Fig. 6 

son. Hence, the reader may ask how we can retain the assertion 
that the electric charge does not radiate energy. Well, the answer 
is so obvious once you see it. The business of squaring and 
adding only works to give energy correctly if there are no other 
electric fields present. We really can never say that our charge 
exists in complete isolation in a universe devoid of other electric 
field-producing charge, particularly if we wish to give it a little 
pulse of acceleration. 

Let us assume that our charge has decided to move in the 
direction of the ambient electric field, seeking to conserve itself 
and being unwilling to radiate its energy as we have described. 
There is then an electric field in the direction V. This field is in 
the direction V because like charges repel and there is repulsion 
of the charge in the V direction. This ambient field itself does 
not move with the field disturbance radiating from the acceler- 
ated charge. Now, as is known, where we have two field com- 
ponents which act in opposition and which are not orthogonal 
but are directly opposed, we obtain three energy density com- 
ponents when we square the result. We have two quantities 
found by squaring each component independently and we have 
a negative energy density component due to the interaction of 
the components. The self combination of the components of the 
ambient field adds nothing to our energy radiation problem 
because the field itself is not moving. The energy radiation terms 
deduced from Fig. 6 do remain as positive radiation. However, 
the interaction with the field in Fig. 6 will introduce negative 
energy radiation as well. Now, the overall field energy at any 



point can never be negative. A component can be negative if we 
have another component which is adequately positive. The 
negative energy component under review will appear in the 
wave zone as the disturbance travels outwards to infinity. This 
negative quantity can cancel the zone energy exactly. This is seen 
if we resolve the ambient field at each point in the zone into a 
component in line with the disturbance field components of 
Fig. 6 and other components in orthogonal directions. The 
component in opposition with the disturbance field component 
increases from zero to a maximum around the wave zone 
exactly as does the disturbance component. Now, if two terms 
separated by a minus sign are squared and added so that the 
interaction component cancels the square of one of the terms 
alone, this term is exactly double the other term. It follows, 
therefore, that for zero energy in the disturbance zone due to the 
acceleration pulse the ambient field must be exactly half of the 
maximum field component shown in the disturbance zone in 
Fig. 6. 

Hence, if we have an electric charge in an electric field and it 
reacts to avoid energy radiation it will move so that it produces 
a distorted field satisfying this criterion. The field which pro- 
duces the acceleration actually prevents energy radiation. An 
accelerated charge does not radiate its energy and thereby it 
derives its property of inertia. 

Why has this been missed by the great thinkers of the classical 
period in physics? Probably because they were convinced that 
light conveyed its energy by waves in the aether. The discovery 
of the photon and the quantum features of energy transfer had 
not daunted their belief in wave theory and the clear mathe- 
matics of energy radiation by accelerated charge. They could 
take the disturbance zone of Fig. 6 out beyond the range of the 
local field producing the acceleration. Radio waves travel far 
from the electric circuits producing the electron oscillations in 
the transmitter. However, this is assuming that the energy ever 
gets away from the electron in the first place.* If there is an 
aether a wave might come along and merely ripple the energy 
already present in the aether itself. Field energy cannot be con- 

* See later discussion in Chapter 12. 



veyed by waves, as is so clearly evident from quantum behaviour 
in energy transfer. It is also evident from our illustrated analysis, 
because as the disturbance field components are propagated 
away from the charge they become weaker. The related com- 
ponents of the ambient electric field do not weaken in this way. 
Therefore, the passage of the wave causes a ripple of negative 
energy in the field-permeated surrounding space. This only 
means that the local energy is deployed into other forms, but it 
tells us something very important about the electric charge 
emitting the disturbance. The zero net energy condition has to 
apply at the surface of this charge. 

If the charge is contained, say, in a hollow spherical shell 
containing a void and surrounded by the aether medium, there 
is nothing inside it to store any energy. It, the charge, is a mere 
spherical shell. It moves so as not to radiate any energy or even 
deploy any of its energy at the location of its charge. Hence, the 
condition for the half field response applies exactly at its outer 
surface. This means that given a unit strength ambient field 
acting on a unit strength charge, the charge will accelerate to 
develop a double unit field at its surface at positions lateral to 
the acceleration direction. The field which is developed here is 
found as the radial field of the charge as distorted by a deflection 
equivalent to multiplying it by the ratio of the eccentricity 
distance of the spheres already mentioned to the radial distance 
between the spheres. This ratio works out to be the acceleration 
times the time it takes for the disturbance to develop at the 
surface divided by the propagation velocity of the disturbance. 
This is simply the acceleration times the radius of the charge 
divided by the square of the propagation velocity. The radial 
electric field is simply the unit strength charge divided by the 
square of the radius, using the simple inverse square law of 
field. Thus, the disturbance field developed is the acceleration 
divided by the charge radius and by the square of the propaga- 
tion velocity. For unit spherical charge, the charge radius is one 
half of the reciprocal of the energy stored by the charge. The 
disturbance field then becomes double the acceleration times 
the energy divided by the square of the propagation velocity, 
and we know that the acceleration is such that this field is two 



units in strength. It follows that unit force developed by unit 
ambient field on unit charge will produce an acceleration 
inversely proportional to the energy divided by the propagation 
velocity squared. In other words, the electric charge, in respond- 
ing so as not to radiate its energy, will display the property we 
term mass. Its mass will be equal to its energy divided by the 
square of the velocity of propagation of the aether medium. 
Thus, its energy will equal its mass multiplied by the square of 
the velocity of light. 

We have now accomplished our task. Mass is explained as 
the property of an electric charge in contriving to avoid energy 
exchanges at its surface. It emits waves when it is accelerated by 
an electric field. It causes oscillations in the aether when it is 
oscillated itself. The energy in the aether is disturbed, but at the 
very boundary surface of the electric charge there is no dis- 
turbance. The charge has found a way of moving which brings a 
calm unruffled field condition to its surface form. Meanwhile 
the accelerating electric field puts some of its energy into another 
form in recognition of the acceleration imparted to the charge. 
This is the kinetic energy of the charge. It is stored in the field 
without disturbing the field remote from the surface of the 
charge and this can only be true if in fact the charge sphere 
shrinks a little to create more space for field energy. Kinetic 
energy is stored by the charge reducing its radius. 

In explaining the nature of mass we have come to the well- 
known relationship between energy and mass, on which much of 
Einstein's recognition is founded. We do not see inertia as a 
property dependent upon gravitation. Mass is a mere property 
of electricity. Inertia is synonymous with mass. One implies the 

It is to be noted that the above argument has been applied to 
a spherical shell of charge. It applies equally to a solid sphere of 
charge. The latter is merely an aggregation of spherical charge 
shells. There is no energy transfer at the surface of each shell due 
to acceleration of its own charge. Further, if we consider inter- 
action field effects between any two such shells, since there is no 
interaction energy within the outermost shell, we can have no 
energy transfer in this regard at the surface of the outermost 


shell. It works out that the mass property is linked to energy by 
the same relationship. 

It remains to ask what happens if the electric charge moves 
at a very high speed approaching the speed of light itself. 
Increase in mass with speed has been observed. The answer is 
given already. The charge does not change but in shrinking to 
store the kinetic energy the electric field energy has increased. 
Thus, since mass is proportional to this energy for a constant 
speed of light, mass increases. As speed increases with increasing 
mass the effect is compounded and, mathematically, it may be 
shown that the speed of light is limiting. Mass would be infinite 
at this speed. 


The Aether in Evidence 

In the previous chapter we were able to explain mass as a 
property of electric charge in motion through space. The nature 
of kinetic energy was explained in terms of the physical contrac- 
tion of the charge in reacting in an electric field to prevent 
radiation of field energy. Thus, the history of the motion of an 
electric charge from its instant of creation is partially recorded 
in terms of its physical size. Its state of motion relative to a basic 
reference frame is implicit. There must be some kind of reference 
frame in which matter is created. Furthermore, an electric 
charge in motion induces certain effects. It acquires kinetic 
energy, but it is also known to develop magnetic fields. One may 
wonder then if the reference frame for matter creation is the 
frame of reference for electromagnetism. This means that we are 
considering something other than the charge, its energy and its 
so-called field. A frame implies the existence of something else, 
an orderly structure interacting with electric charge in motion. 
We are considering the aether. 

The fundamental ingredients of our study are electric charge, 
energy and a time parameter. Logically, our aether will be 
composed of an orderly array of electric charges in an organized 
state of motion. Such charges will react to the electric field of a 
moving electric particle. We will depict the action in the field 
vector diagram in Fig. 7. Consider a charge at Q moving with 
a velocity proportional to OQ. Imagine an element of aether 
charge normally at P but having a new home position at R 
because of the direct electric field of our charge at Q. This 
aether element is, however, reacting to our charge as if it were 
at O, because it has taken time for the action to be propagated. 
In fact, the vector OP represents the propagation velocity. 
Therefore the aether charge will not be at R. It will be displaced 



from R and somehow reacting to the propagated effect from O. 
The diagram assumes that the displacement vector RS is a 
minimum, making RSP a right angle. As was suggested in 

Chapter 4, aether charge will tend to move in harmony in 
circular orbits. Any displacement involving oscillation about a 
new centre will not affect the basic natural frequency of the 
motion. Thus, in Fig. 7, the charge is portrayed at S but in 
reality it will be oscillating about S. Also, we could argue that 
the charge at Q and the positions O and P share such an oscil- 
lation in the inertial frame of reference. The aether charge is 
subject to restoring force proportional to displacement. This is 
why the oscillation frequency is universal. The aether is a natural 
clock. The distance PR is a measure of the electric field at P due 
to the charge at Q. The distance PS signifies the strength of the 
field absorbed by the displacement to S. Some energy is trans- 
ferred locally from the main electric field of the charge at Q but 
this does not affect the inertial behaviour of the charge. The 
criteria accounting for mass effects explained in Chapter 11 are 
not affected. 

The action described is reversible. As the charge at Q passes 
and recedes into the distance the aether charge at S will return to 
P. Note that the displacement RS is less than PR but that when 
OQ exceeds OP some positions of P do allow RS to equal PS, a 
condition corresponding to a charge velocity in excess of the 
speed of light in free space. 



Fig. 7 


Let us now consider electric induction effects in matter rather 
than in free space. To explain the velocity of light in an optical 
medium, that is, to derive the refractive index, a standard 
method is to use electron theory and suppose the wave dis- 
turbances to be simply periodic in time and space. Energy is not 
considered. The analysis concerns fields, disturbances, displace- 
ments and the natural frequencies of the different systems 
present. Convincing results emerge from the analysis. Disper- 
sion and absorption arc explained in wave theory, the pre- 
decessor of quantum theory and the photon. But, remember that 
energy is not considered. Indeed, go further than this and begin to 
wonder whether the propagating medium really needs any special 
energy stimuli. There is the reversible deployment of energy 
from the direct electric field actions of disturbing charge, but 
electromagnetic waves may be sufficiently nourished by these 
disturbing actions and may rely more on the energy already 
contained in the medium. Electromagnetic waves may merely 
cause a local oscillation of the existing store of energy in the 
medium itself. Waves may travel through the aether or through 
matter without conveying any energy as part of the wave action. 

If we now regard matter as having properties such as were 
assumed in Fig. 7, we can expect the passage of an electron 
through matter to develop disturbances merely deploying 
energy locally. The electron will retain its kinetic energy. How- 
ever, this would be to ignore the interaction effects of other 
electrons, which can lead to energy dispersion amongst them. 
Also, of course, there are quantum phenomena, events involving 
interaction between the electron and what are probably localized 
disturbances of the lattice-like array of charges which must 
constitute an important metric of the aether. These actions give 
rise to Bremsstrahlung and photon phenomena, but it is the non- 
quantum interaction between matter and aether which is 
important to the present argument. We can have no duality of 
wave theory and quantum theory unless we mean that both 
phenomena coexist in reality. Then we need waves without 
energy transfer and look to quantum mechanisms to explain 
energy migration. 

The aether is merely disturbed by its interaction with charge 


in motion. But the aether acts as a catalyst. It is essential to the 
system. It has energy and it holds this energy in a state of equili- 
brium with the charged matter present. There are energy inter- 
changes continuously but it is an exchange process which ensures 
that the aether retains its store of energy however much it is 
buffeted by the electric forces of passing charges. Magnetic 
forces too will promote, we assume, similar effects. They will 
promote actions or displacements, but always subject to the 
overriding equilibrium tendency of the aether energy. The result 
of all this is that if energy is fed to the aether transiently by a 
charge in motion and the aether reacts to reject it, the aether will 
not discriminate between any such charge present. Accordingly, 
the disturbing charge will only receive its energy back as a co- 
operative action involving other charge. Some kind of statistical 
process is at work. There are mutual induction effects with the 
ever-present environment of other charges of matter, as the 
aether plays its catalytic role. 

This has two important consequences which help to provide 
some very significant evidence of the existence of the real aether 
medium. One is magnetism itself, but firstly let us consider our 
problem of electric induction in matter. 

The process described by reference to Fig. 7 will be somewhat 
thwarted if the propagation velocity is retarded by the presence 
of other matter and the charge displaced from P experiences the 
direct action of the charge at Q before the propagated distur- 
bance arrives from O. In free space this cannot happen. How- 
ever, high velocity electrons moving close to the speed of light 
could be injected into a refractive medium in which the velocity 
of light is lower than the speed of these electrons. In simple 
terms, there is field action but the propagated aether charge dis- 
placement cannot occur quickly enough to assure the equili- 
brium state of Fig. 7. The energy deployment process at points 
within the field involves a time delay. Reaction is rapid and 
almost instantaneous if the rapid oscillatory motion of the 
aether lattice has adapted to the disturbing charge by experienc- 
ing the gradual effects of the propagated disturbance. However, 
what comes in the case under study is a shock wave which 
disturbs the equilibrium in the aether itself. Even displacement 


effects due to direct field action in the refractive medium are 
subject to substantial time delay when reacting to really high 
speed electrons. This medium has hardly time to participate in 
energy deployment in the field. The aether, therefore, takes the 
brunt of the shock wave effect. 

As the charge recedes the effect of the shock cannot subside 
fast enough. The equilibrium has been disturbed and some 
energy is left behind in the field. This energy has not been fed 
back to the disturbing charge via the interaction forces between 
the lattice charge and the charge of the electron. It is retarded, 
losing its kinetic energy until its speed comes below the propaga- 
tion velocity within the medium. Then its further retardation 
will depend solely upon its interactions with other matter and 
photon emission. Note that the physical displacement of charge 
in the aether is essential to this argument. It is not possible to 
contemplate solely displacement in the refractive medium itself 
because this cannot react quickly enough to the direct action of 
the electron field. The electron is moving at a velocity much 
higher than any prevailing in the atomic systems it is disturbing. 
In effect, we have said that the aether preserves an energy 
equilibrium and in so doing it acts as an unseen catalyst under 
normal circumstances. However, it can be taken by surprise and 
its equilibrium processes, at least in respect of the wave propaga- 
tion role they play, are just not fast enough in the singular 
situation described. The aether can be left holding energy after 
the electron has passed on, and this energy will be spilled out to 
any other charge in the medium in a manner unrelated to pro- 
cesses normally observed at speeds below the propagation 

The experiment has been performed by Nobel Prize winner 
Pavel A. Cerenkov. It was reported in 1937. Quoting from his 
1958 prize lecture entitled: 'Radiation of particles moving at a 
velocity exceeding that of light', we read: 

In 1904 to 1905, shortly before the theory of Relativity came into 
being, Sommerfeld submitted the hypothetical case of the movement 
of an electron at a speed greater than that of light in a vacuum to a 
theoretical study. But the coming of the theory of Relativity which 
affirms that material bodies are unable to move at the speed of light, 



still less to exceed it, overshadowed Sommerfeld's conclusions which 
seemed less to the purpose. It is, seemingly, to this circumstance that 
we may to some extent ascribe the complete neglect of the problem 
of the movement of electrically charged particles in a substance, 
because it could not be reconciled with the theory of Relativity. 

Cerenkov discovered that when electrons travelling at a speed 
higher than the speed of light in a substance are injected into 
that substance there is emission of radiation having no spectral 
structure. The quantum we associate with Planck is missing. 
The photon mechanism seems to be supplanted by something 
else. Electric particles can interact to exchange energy and a 
dispersal of energy known as Bremsstrahlung occurs. However, 
with Cerenkov radiation it seems that the aether characteristic 
of energy conservation is at work until the particle moves slower 
than the speed of light in the medium. 

We now turn to the problem of a magnetic field. It would, it 
seems, involve extreme speculation to explain the physical 
nature of a magnetic field. To attempt this one would have to 
take note of the efforts of the nineteenth century and remember 
that a formal physical account of magnetism could lead to the 
analysis of the motions of an aether fluid. Magnetism is as 
fundamental as electricity itself since the most minute element 
of charge, even an element of a discrete charge, exerts a magnetic 
effect. Electrons have the fundamental discrete electric charge 
we recognize as the basic quantum in accepted physics. Yet, 
electrons can develop a magnetic effect attributed to spin. The 
explanation of the nature of a magnetic field does not fall 
amongst the same order of things as other fundamental physical 
phenomena. In this work we are treating what may be termed 
the macroscopic properties of the aether medium. The nature of 
an electric field, of electric charge, and of magnetic field actions 
probably depends upon the microscopic behaviour of an aether 
more fundamental than the electrical model presumed so far in 
this work. Accordingly, for the present purpose, let us rely on 
the analogy between electricity and magnetism. The aether has 
been found to react to a disturbing electric field merely by 
deploying energy locally from the field to the balancing electric 
state of charge displacement in the aether medium. For the 


magnetic field we will suppose a displacement state of some form 
but accept, by analogy, that no energy attributed to the motion 
of the disturbing charge is, in fact, fed to localities in the field 
region, taking due note of the possibility of transient exchanges 
which assure equilibrium conditions. 

On this hypothesis what, then, is magnetic energy? It could be 
regarded as a component of energy stored in the aether but, if so 
regarded, its presence should be melded with that of what we 
might term 'dynamic electric energy' associated with the dis- 
placement vector RS in Fig. 7. It so happens that the field vector 
RS is equal in magnitude to the magnetic field vector developed 
at P by the motion of the charge at Q. Then the magnetic energy 
at P would need to be taken as a negative component compen- 
sated by the positive dynamic electric energy component and 
we must not imagine deployment of the intrinsic static field 
energy of the electric charge at Q. Such a concept was helpful in 
developing the main analytical work of the author* but it can 
best be avoided by simply ignoring magnetic field energy as 
such. It may have no real existence. Magnetism may be a state 
providing its own microscopic catalytic action between charged 
electric particles in motion, but somehow referenced on an 
electromagnetic frame provided by the dominant role of the 
lattice array of aether charge already mentioned. 

Remember that the aether will not discriminate between 
charge when it feeds back any energy accepted from a particular 
charge in motion. We must then expect that when a charge is set 
in motion it will have to find its own equilibrium via the cata- 
lytic action of the aether, exchanging energy with other free 
charge present. It will experience a retarding electromotive 
force (a back-EMF in the terms of the electrical engineer). 
Other charges present may see this electromotive force as an 
accelerating force and absorb energy to augment their kinetic 
energy. Then they too contribute to the magnetic disturbance, 
but the net effect is that the catalytic action can transfer kinetic 
energy between the charges, a phenomenon we well know from 
the behaviour of the electric transformer. 

We will now develop this argument in detail, coming to the 

* Physics without Einstein. 


thesis that magnetic energy supposedly stored in the field really 
takes the form of kinetic energy imparted to the reacting system 
of charge, whether in matter or in free space. This will afford 
some clear indicators of the existence of a real aether medium. 

The law of force action between electric current elements can 
be worked out by evaluating the interaction magnetic field 
energy components and examining how these change with 
separation distance between the elements. This was discussed in 
Chapter 8. However, it has just been said that a magnetic field is 
merely a disturbance condition in the aether and that energy is 
conserved in the aether field. All we have is kinetic energy of the 
charges generating the current elements and we cannot reason- 
ably expect an interaction energy from these terms. It seems then 
that we have a problem. But this is a problem which takes us to 
convincing evidence that the aether medium does exist. It leads 
us to some remarkably easy answers to other problems as well, 
problems which have turned physical theory upside down for 
many decades. 

We are talking of currents which produce magnetic fields and 
the effect of these fields upon electric charges in motion. Our 
physics tell us that any reacting charge will describe helical paths 
and develop an opposing magnetic field effect resisting the mag- 
netic field applied by the action of primary currents. But do all 
the charges behave the same way? Do all free electrons in a 
lump of copper, for example, really react to oppose the applied 
magnetic field? If so, we would find it difficult to put a steady 
magnetic field into copper. There should be very strong dia- 
magnetism substantially cancelling the whole field effect. But 
there is no such reaction, certainly not of the magnitude our 
physics would imply. History provides some very remarkable 
answers: they discredit the contribution which scientists have 
made to progress in this century. 

The authority on diamagnetic susceptibilities is the treatise by 
Van Vleck.* After referring to the statistical theorems by which 
earlier workers reconciled their minds on this problem, Van 
Vleck writes at page 101 : 

* The Theory of Electric and Magnetic Susceptibilities, Oxford University 
Press, 1932. 



This absence of a diamagnetic susceptibility from free electrons at 
first thought appears quite paradoxical. If each electron describes a 
circle about the field, it certainly possesses angular momentum about 
the centre of the orbit, and the sense of the rotation is such that the 
attendant magnetic moment is opposite to the field, apparently 
giving diamagnetism. However, ... in case the body containing the 
electrons is bounded in extent, the electrons near the boundary can- 
not describe complete circles but are reflected from the boundary 

These boundary electrons are very vital, as without them there would 
be diamagnetism. ... A potential barrier is also required at the 
boundary to reflect the electrons. Of course, on true theory, quantum 
modifications must be taken into account. . . . Thus the theorem on 
the absence of diamagnetism is valid only in classical theory. 

We know before we start any theoretical enquiry that a lump 
of copper does not suppress a magnetic field which is not alter- 
nating. We know that there is no apparent diamagnetism. Our 
physics applied to the electrons individually say that there is 
diamagnetism. How does Van Vleck explain the difficulty? 
Electrons bounce off the inside boundaries of the copper. But if 
an electron collides with an atom it will hit one of the outer 
guardians of the atom, another electron. Newton tells us that 
when two identical bodies collide they merely exchange 
momenta. So the electrons change places. Such a collision will 
not constitute any change in the diamagnetic argument. No, 
Van Vleck says that there has to be a potential barrier causing 
the electron to bounce back. Van Vleck draws the bounce as in 


Fig. 8 so that the electron migrates around the inside boundary 
to develop a magnetic field compensating the orbital motions of 
the other free electrons. There is also a reserve position. Van 
Vleck falls back with confidence upon quantum theory for a 
supporting explanation. He imparts a statistical distribution to 
the angular momentum. Negative angular momentum is as 
likely in mathematics as is positive angular momentum, when 
there is no magnetic field. When we apply a field we know that 
magnetic force acts at right angles to the electron motion. It 
does no work. Therefore no energy is added by applying the field 
and so, if there is no magnetism due to the electron motion when 
no field is applied, there is none when the field is applied. The 
argument is clarity itself. But it is wrong: not because the quan- 
tum statistics are wrong, but because we have applied with 
confidence a law of electrodynamics according to Lorentz, and 
completely forgotten that fundamental discovery made in 1831 
by Michael Faraday. An electric current is generated in a closed 
circuit when a magnet in its neighbourhood is moved. This dis- 
covery still has to survive all quantum treatment by the physicist. 
If you apply a magnetic field to a system of electrons in motion 
you must supply energy. There is an experiment which shows 
that induction applies to the current element, and so to the 
discrete charge in motion. 

It is an experimental fact that the electromotive force and 
potential drop can differ in a circuit element. This has been 
shown by apparatus of the kind shown in Fig. 9. Here, a mag- 
netic core M is excited by an alternating magnetizing field to 
produce magnetic flux changes linking a circular current circuit 
C. Two diametrically-opposite points on the circuit are con- 
nected by symmetrically disposed leads to a voltage detector G. 
These leads are flexibly connected so that the circular current 
circuit can be pivoted about an axis through the two points of 
connection. The axis of the magnetic core passes through the 
centre of the circular current circuit. The experiment consists in 
pivoting the circular current circuit with the magnet excited. It 
is found that, whereas the potential drop in the two halves of the 
circular circuit must be the same since they carry the same 
current, the measured signal changes from zero as the circuit 



Fig. 9 

is turned from a position normal to the axis of the magnetic 
core. This clearly shows that the electromotive force in the two 
halves of the circuit are not equal. There must be a force 
induced in a circuit element, that is, on a single charge in motion, 
acting along the direction of the current or motion/This force is 
supplementary to the lateral force set up by the operation of the 
law of electrodynamics. It is a force existing transiently when a 
magnetic field is changing. 

There is therefore a fundamental error in physical reasoning 
in the theorems purporting to explain why the free electrons in 
any material are of negligible effect in resisting the applied 
magnetic field. From energy considerations, diamagnetism is 
the inevitable result and we do have to face this fact and see how 
we can reconcile it with the apparent non-existence of substantial 

Our starting point is obvious. Some substances exhibit 
ferromagnetism. They contain electric charge in motion, both 
free electrons and electrons in their atomic systems. Somehow, 
the statistics of their behaviour, whether classical or quantum^ 
allow them to develop a magnetic field without any help from 
outside. Effects such as this come from deployment of energy. It 
suits the electrons in the ferromagnet to assume a state where 
they develop a magnetic field. They pay attention to the alter- 


native states open to them and accept the one involving mini- 
mum potential energy. They seem to ignore the statistical rules 
which Van Vleck would impose upon them to deny them the 
ability to contribute some magnetic field of their own. So, we 
look to energy. We minimize potential energy, which implies 
maximization of energy due to the dynamic state, such as 
magnetic energy or kinetic energy. And we turn back to our 
diamagnetic problem. 

If a magnetic field acts on an electron, the interaction with the 
transverse velocity component of the electron drives the electron 
into a circular orbit at this velocity. There is balance of magnetic 
force and centrifugal force. It works out that the electron 
develops a reaction magnetic moment equal to the kinetic 
energy due to this velocity component divided by the strength of 
the magnetic field. It is the same if we merely assert a 'spin' 
magnetic moment since the magnetic field times the magnetic 
moment is a measure of the energy involved. Analysis then 
shows that if a magnetic field is applied to a system of electrons 
in motion, the total reaction magnetic moment will be the total 
of these energy components divided by the effective magnetic 
field. This effective magnetic field is the applied field less that due 
to the reaction magnetic moment. There is an optimum reaction 
for maximum kinetic energy or minimum potential energy. This 
is when reaction field is exactly half of the applied field. This, in 
turn, means that, apart from small atomic reaction effects, all 
substances are diamagnetic to this same extent. The magnetic 
field is invariably halved by the reaction of charge. Accordingly, 
what really happens is that any electric charge in motion sets up 
twice the magnetic field we measure. Half of this is cancelled by 
reaction. Then we see that the kinetic energy deployed to develop 
the reaction is exactly equal to the conventional magnetic field 

We have solved our problem with remarkable ease and con- 
firmed the theoretical aether field result deduced above. The 
free charges in a substance have a statistical distribution of their 
kinetic energy and produce no magnetism due to this but they 
receive extra energy, in measure equal to the so-called magnetic 
energy, and this they deploy exclusively to sustain the reaction. 



All magnetic fields are halved, whether in material substances or 
in the aether itself. Therefore there has to be free charge in space 
capable of reacting. This itself proves the existence of the aether 
as a real medium. It is needed to keep our physics coherent on 
this awkward problem of diamagnetism. 

The reader might be suspicious of the above argument and be 
inclined to accept the assurances of Van Vleck that statistics 
can eliminate diamagnetism. It may help, therefore, to draw 
attention to some comments made by 1970 Nobel prizewinner 
Professor Alfven. After deriving the result that the diamagnetic 
reaction moment of a charged particle is equal to its kinetic 
energy divided by the magnetic field but noting the theorems 
based on Fig. 8, he writes:* 

On the other hand, as a single spiralling particle produces a dia- 
magnetic moment, it seems reasonable that a gas consisting of an 
aggregate of such particles should be diamagnetic when it is not in 
thermodynamic equilibrium. The importance of this is evident in 
view of the fact that discharges are in a state very far from equili- 
brium. . . . Our discussion of an electron gas is of interest because it 
shows that under certain conditions a charged particle gas may be 
diamagnetic. In cosmic physics a gas always contains about the same 
number of positive and negative particles. . . . 

Alfven is saying that if there is free charge in space it should 
react to exhibit diamagnetism and that it will so react if it is not 
in thermodynamic equilibrium. Therefore, if the aether is an 
electric plasma and it has the form envisaged in this book, a 
form in which there are no collisions able to develop the boun- 
dary reactions according to thermodynamic statistical processes, 
then the aether too will display diamagnetism. 

Ferromagnetism is a natural phenomenon because the atomic 
electrons in certain states in certain materials find that energeti- 
cally there is an advantage in aligning their orbits. Their 
intrinsic energy is deployed to set up a magnetic field. The reason 
is interesting. Firstly, note that any electron in motion in an 
atom is like the charge at Q in Fig. 7 discussed above. Associ- 
ated with its motion there is reaction kinetic energy in the aether 
or in the electrons in surrounding substance. 

* Cosmkal Electrodynamics, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1950, pp. 58 and 61. 


The process of energy deployment is as follows. When the 
charge at Q moves it develops a disturbance we recognize as a 
magnetic field. Free charge in the environment is affected. An 
electric inductive reaction is involved due to this and a force 
exists on Q absorbing some of its kinetic energy. This energy is 
transferred via the same inductive mechanism to the free charge 
just mentioned. Ferromagnetism occurs because the atoms can 
release some of their potential energy to come to a more 
favoured energy state. In the energy equilibrium process there is 
ample kinetic energy in the free electron system present to 
sustain the mutual effects of the magnetic field. An appropriate 
statistical contribution can be made by just enough such free 
electrons reacting to the main magnetic field polarization to 
keep the energy balance. Magnetic polarization and alignment 
of the electron orbits in the atoms correspond to the preferred 
energy state. This action is, however, regulated by the over- 
riding condition that the alignment of orbits does not itself 
require more potential energy than is freed. For example, let 
us suppose that one electron orbit in each atom in a ferro- 
magnetic crystal decides to align itself with some direction in the 
crystal. Because of the orbital quantization of the electron its 
magnetic moment is fixed and a certain amount of potential 
energy has to be stored because we have induced new strains in 
the crystal. The electrodynamic interactions have been altered. 
The orbits are no longer randomly orientated. It follows that 
ferromagnetism will occur if the potential energy accompanying 
the change in elastic strain is less than the reaction kinetic 
energy, because this latter quantity is not just a measure of the 
magnetic energy usually recognized but is equal to the energy 
sustaining the induction processes. At the onset of ferromagnet- 
ism the potential energy from the atom spills out to feed the 
strain energy. Meanwhile the reaction field energy is tapped 
from the thermodynamic energy of the free charge moving in 
the substance. Any surplus energy goes into kinetic energy and 
increases the thermal condition. 

There is some evidence that the kinetic energy imparted to 
electrons by magnetic induction is limited by the related 
magnetic energy. If a strong current pulse is induced in a 


semi-conductor, one would expect the kinetic energy of the elec- 
trons and so the current itself to have a critical relationship with 
the magnetic energy within the conductor. This presupposes that 
the energy imparted by applied or induced fields exceeds by far 
the initial kinetic energy of the electrons, an unlikely possibility 
in ordinary metals but a distinct possibility in semi-conductors. 
The result will be an apparent failure of Ohm's law because a 
current saturation effect may occur. Also, since the magnetic 
field relates to current in dependence upon the physical size of 
the conductor, this saturation effect should depend upon the 
conductor cross-section. 

In a paper at page 941 of Helvetica Physica Acta, 1969, Jaggi 
has drawn attention to the experimental evidence of the size- 
dependent non-ohmic behaviour of germanium and silicon. 
Jaggi also mentions the curious saturation condition that 
magnetic energy equates with the kinetic energy within the 
conductor at saturation. This helps to confirm the thesis about 
the disposition of the so-called magnetic energy in reacting 
current systems, but we must stay with the problem of ferro- 
magnetism to see if we can account for the saturation magnetism 
evidenced by iron and other ferromagnetic materials. 

We know that in a crystal the minimum strain energy is 
stored when there is symmetrical strain. The strain due to ferro- 
magnetism is not symmetrical. It depends upon the axis in 
which the polarization lies. However, strain energy is a function 
of stress and strain. It depends upon the time it takes for the 
crystal to react to the stress. The minimum energy condition is 
then one where the magnetic polarization reasserts itself 
repeatedly in each of the possible directions of magnetization. If 
this happens fast enough the energy deployed as crystal kinetic 
energy will be small. Overall, therefore, minimum potential 
energy is a state for which the polarization is repeatedly 
quenched and reasserted so as to allow the magnetization vector 
to spend the same period of time in each of the possible crystal 
directions. There are no problems here due to thermal losses. 
The changes in magnetization involve repeated exchanges of 
energy with the kinetic energy stored in the free charge system. 
However, each time magnetism is lost there is adiabatic cooling 


and each time it is re-established there is adiabatic heating. This 
means that the temperature stays unchanged. 

Of course, if a magnetic field is applied to a ferromagnetic it 
will favour a magnetization direction in its sequence of inter- 
changing its magnetism between the different axes, and so it 
will develop an apparent polarization in one direction and form 
into the domain systems familiar to the expert on ferromagnetic 
properties. The strain energy does not depend upon which 
direction in a given axis the magnetism has chosen. Ideally, the 
polarization will be along each axis for equal portions of any 
time interval, but this will be modified very slightly by the effects 
of an external field and its direction. This will endow the ferro- 
magnetic material with some strain sensitive properties and 
magnetostriction is to be expected. Our object here is really only 
to show how the aether leads us to an understanding of ferro- 
magnetism and how ferromagnetic properties give convincing 
evidence in support of the aether concept. 

The first real evidence comes from the fact that we have shown 
that in a ferromagnet there will be a half-field reaction. The 
magnetic moment set up by an orbital electron is exactly double 
that predicted by conventional theory but it is half cancelled by 
reacting charge which also has its own orbital motion. In a 
ferromagnetic substance the reaction will be caused by electrons 
and so if we measure the ratio of the total magnetic moment 
change and the total of the accompanying angular momentum 
change when we reverse the magnetism in a ferromagnetic 
specimen it will be double the value expected on normal theory. 

This was observed experimentally by Sucksmith and Bates 
(1923).* The anomalous factor of two, known as the gyro- 
magnetic ratio, has sustained Dirac's formalism, because this 
mysterious factor is supposedly due to a primary property 
called 'electron spin'. The Dirac theory has, however, been a 
great handicap to the theory of ferromagnetism. It has prevented 
the true source, the orbital motion of the electron, from being 
accepted as the origin of the ferromagnetic field. This we have 
rectified in the above account. 

With the new theory of ferromagnetism developed above it 
* Proc. Roy. Soc, 104A, p. 499, 1923. 


becomes possible to attribute ferromagnetism to electrons which 
decide to come out of their wave mechanical motions and lock 
into a simple orbital state. Analysis shows that two electrons in 
the second Bohr orbit produce the observed magnetic polariza- 
tion in iron. It is noted that the quantization of each atom in 
iron is known to contribute 2-221 Bohr magnetons. The Bohr 
magneton is the quantum measure of magnetic moment. It is a 
real challenge to any theory to explain a quantity such as 2-221 
when ideally one would think it should be an integer. Let us see 
where our theory takes us. 

The force on an electric charge moving in a magnetic field 
arises because the energy conditions involving reaction effects 
optimize that way. Thus, energy optimization is more basic than 
force. Consequently in considering how a charge reacts in a 
magnetic field it is the deployment of energy in reacting to the 
effective field which matters. An iron crystal has a body centred 
cubic structure and if its magnetism shares each of the three cube 
directions equally, being bi-directional in two axes and uni- 
directional in the third, we have one third of the total instan- 
taneous magnetic field as the effective polarization. This will 
develop a reaction effect of one half this, determining the energy 
to be deployed to provide the reaction field. Since this reaction 
is shared between the three axes as well, we have a polarization 
of one third the instantaneous action less one half of one ninth 
of the instantaneous action. This is five eighteenths of the 
primary quantization. 

The energy analysis can be used to show that iron is ferro- 
magnetic due to the contribution of electrons in the second Bohr 
orbit.* It appears that two electrons contribute to the ferro- 
magnetic state, because this gives eight Bohr magnetons when 
the double action is allowed for. Five eighteenths of this is 2-222 
Bohr magnetons. Allowing a little time for the magnetism to 
move from one direction to another we would expect the actual 
value to be slightly less than this, comparing well with the 
measured value of 2-221. Similar analysis can be used with 
success for cobalt and nickel, allowing for different crystal 
structures and taking two electrons per atom in half the lattice 

* Sec Chapter 3 in the author's book Physics without Einstein. 


structure for face-centred nickel and two electrons for each 
atom in the close-packed hexagonal structure of cobalt.* 

The evidence of reaction effects in ferromagnetic material is 
strong and the evidence points to the corollary, a reacting aether. 
Magnetic phenomena are therefore particularly important in 
judging whether or not the aether should be recognized by the 
modern physicist. 

Before ending this chapter something should be said about 
gravitation. Gravitation is a magnetic phenomenon. It is readily 
explained and is seated in a magnetic disturbance at the universal 
frequency of the aether. It can have certain steady state charac- 
teristics in respect of interactions between gravitating elements 
but will not interact with a magnetic field unless, of course, it is 
at this very high frequency of the aether. The frequency is that of 
photons developed when electrons are annihilated. The constant 
of gravitation G can also be derived in terms of the charge/mass 
ratio of the electron, based on a straightforward analysis of the 
aether. The reader is referred to the comprehensive analysis 
elsewhere. f However, it is appropriate to note that the state of 
magnetism in space corresponding with a gravitational field 
means energy deployment from the joint orbital motion shared 
by matter and aether charge. The aether is found to undergo 
charge displacement due to the out-of-balance effects otherwise 
arising from the presence of matter. The harmonious orbital 
motions of this displaced charge are like the orbital motions of 
the electrons contributing to ferromagnetism. Energy is 
deployed from this motion and converted to the kinetic energy 
released to matter when a body moves under a gravitational 

* H. Aspden, lecture at meeting of Magnetics Group of German Physical 
Society, Salzburg, March 29, 1971. 
| Physics without Einstein. 


Action at a Distance 

In explaining the effects of an electric charge in motion by 
reference to Fig 7, it has been tacitly assumed that there is action 
at a distance in the aether. Coulomb's law of electrostatic inter- 
action between electric charge has been the basis of the whole 
argument even though a case has been declared favouring 
energy action as more fundamental than the force effect. Force 
arises when motion permits energy to develop what it is that we 
experience as a force. 

Now, there are those who think that field theory excuses us 
from the need to worry about action at a distance. Also, there 
are advocates of mechanical aether theory who just cannot 
accept such a thing as action at a distance. The energy argument 
developed in this work and as used by reference to Fig. 2 may or 
may not give a satisfactory alternative to these sceptics. It seems 
that the orthodox scientific community accepts 'field theory' as 
the convenient alternative, without quite understanding the 
physical reality of the 'field'. Action at a distance still bothers 
the realist element in scientific thought. It is authoritatively dis- 
missed by abstraction in a paper by Hoyle and Narlikar* with 
the words : 

The success of field theory has overshadowed the action at a distance 
theories, although, ironically, we nowadays need have no difficulty 
with the problem that seemed so worrying to Newton and his fol- 
lowers, namely the mystery of how particles manage to act on each 
other when they are at a distance apart. We now know that particle 
couplings are propagated along null geodesies— i.e. at no distance in 
the four dimensional sense. Strictly, the phrase 'action at a distance' 
should be changed to 'action at no distance'. 

* 'A new theory of gravitation', Proc. Roy. Soc, A, Vol. 282, pp. 191-207, 



This is peculiar thinking. It seems that Einstein's theory can 
be used to transform words as well as frames of reference. We 
are simply concerned with the question of how two electric 
charges relatively at rest act upon one another, somehow exert- 
ing their mutual effects across the space separating them, and we 
are told they are both at the same point in space-time. Two 
electric charges can be separated by a distance in a three- 
dimensional world and since we are concerned with Coulomb's 
law, a law derived from experiment in an assumedly three- 
dimensional reference frame, we had better restrict ourselves to 
this real world if we expect to achieve anything meaningful. Are 
two spaced electric charges constantly subjected to the mutual 
interaction force? Are they in a state of jitter due to pulsations 
in the actions and delays in propagating their interactions? 
These questions may offend the physicist who lives by abstrac- 
tion. The offence, however, may well arise because it is irritating 
to have a problem and not to have any clear answers. It is easier 
to argue that all that matters is what can be measured. If one 
cannot make measurements to determine the truth it probably 
will not matter to our physics how abstract our thoughts, as 
long as they link at least somewhere with the reality of observa- 
tion. Is it not better to acknowledge our difficulties and let the 
students of physics wrestle with them, as problems of real 
physics, rather than as abstract riddles purportedly connected 
with the true nature of things? 

Stedman,* writing recently on 'Broken Symmetry' in Science 
Progress, gave perspective to the philosophical implications of 
abstract physical principles when he referred to a reported con- 
versation involving Heisenberg: 

Someone asked Heisenberg in the discussion time: 'Why then did 
God create the world with asymmetry in it?' Heisenberg's reply: 
'Only nothingness is absolutely symmetrical, and there would be no 
point in creating that.' 

Stedman then went on to write: 

Perhaps the rambling account above is reminiscent of the endless 
debates of the schoolmen of the Middle Ages, on such questions as: 

* G. E. Stedman, Science Progress, Vol. 58, pp. 507-23, 1970. 



'When a fish swims, which moves first, the water or the fish?' If such 
apparently futile questions form the warp and woof of modern 
physical theory, it would appear that we are not much better off 
than the schoolmen. 

A question may seem futile if we do not know the answer, but it 
is better to keep in mind such futile questions than to offer to 
others futile answers. In many matters in physics we have pro- 
gressed remarkably little from the state of knowledge in the 
Middle Ages. 

When we contemplate the problem of action at a distance 
perhaps we are in a poor state of mind. It is the present author's 
contention that there is a real aether medium. Such is the subject 
of this book. But this belief has arisen from the discovery that 
much of the accepted physics of electromagnetic theory is 
inconsistent and that the weaknesses can be remedied by involv- 
ing the electrified aether medium. Coulomb's law has been the 
foundation of all the author's analysis. It is the most funda- 
mental physical law relied upon by the author in building the 
theory published in his earlier works.* Certainty has come from 
the quantitative derivation of the universal physical constants. 
These are the features which give the theory its real meaning. 
The universal constants of physics are somehow determined by 
Nature; they are determined quantitatively, and, of course, 
qualitatively. However, it is easier to contrive qualitative argu- 
ments purporting to explain what is observed than it is to couple 
with a qualitative picture a derivation of the observed numerical 
features. Quantitative support does exist for the simple qualita- 
tive physics given in this work. The form of the aether under 
discussion can be analysed in depth by applying classical 
electrical theory with some corrections. By discovering that if an 
electron does not radiate its energy when accelerated it must 
possess the property of inertia, the aether, as an energy con- 
taining medium in its own right, has come in evidence and also 
mass properties have become a consequence of the electrical 
properties of the aether. 

The author has therefore been content to brush aside the 

* The Theory of Gravitation, 1st edition 1960, 2nd edition 1966 and Physics 
without Einstein, 1969. 


concepts of those advocating an aether based on mechanical 
foundations and, of course, the author's ideas, along with any 
favouring an aether, are set aside by those scientists of our time 
who are happy with life as a matrix of mathematical equations 
in a void. 

One staunch advocate of aether theory is Oscar N. R. Potier, 
who has questioned the lack of definition of energy in the 
author's work, pointing out that energy is really force times 
distance. He writes:* 

You suggest that gravitation is a magnetic phenomenon. This means 
that action at a distance and tractive, tensile, or attractive forces are 
accepted, against the teaching of the sacrosanct laws of mechanics — 
contiguity and push or compression as the only possible forms of 
reality where physical forces are concerned. 

Potier's own theory! is based upon an ever-accelerating 
universal expansion by which all elements of matter are forced 
further and further apart by forces transmitted by a space sub- 
stance forming the aether. The inertial restraint appears as a 
gravitational attraction if this accelerated expansion is not 
appreciated. This idea can be disputed on quantitative grounds 
but it does, in principle, show how an unwillingness to give in to 
the doctrines of established physics and accept the inexplicable 
action at a distance forces can provoke new thoughts about the 
fundamental mechanics of our universe. 

Now, it is not particularly worthwhile to argue that energy is 
force acting through a distance when, in fact, force may be a 
measure of energy change when whatever is associated with the 
energy undergoes a change of spatial configuration, that is, 
change of distance. Given energy and distance we need have 
little difficulty with the concept of force. Given force and dis- 
tance we can understand energy, but energy can be something 
existing in its own right, whereas force implies something else. 
Energy is a scalar quantity whereas force is a vector. Energy is 
the more basic parameter. The example from the human frame 

* Private communication dated Lisbon, January 9, 1971. 

•f Oscar N. R. Potier, 'The Fundamental Mechanism', paper read before 
Portuguese-Spanish Congress for the Progress of Science, Seville, November 23, 


is that a lifeless unenergized body can exert no force because it 
can expend no energy. An electric car battery needs energy 
before it can be applied to develop a force. So it may be in 
Nature, at the really fundamental level. Energy is a primary 
quantity and force a secondary effect. Therefore, it is not to be 
expected that we can ever fathom the very nature of energy. 

The question we can approach is the problem of electric 
charge. Energy and space (distance) imply force and we need not 
invoke mass from these parameters, as did Newton. Instead, 
given energy and space, can we develop the notion of electric 
charge and from that then come to understand Coulomb's law 
and the problems of action at a distance. The author can explain 
mass from the electric nature of the aether, but the author may 
still be taught that the aether can yield an even more funda- 
mental truth, possibly exposing the very nature of electricity. It 
is important to keep an open mind in these matters. 

Let us, for the moment, return to Hoyle and Narlikar's 
'action at no distance' theory. Their paper is entitled 'A new 
theory of gravitation' and concerns Hoyle's ideas of signals 
from the future. The subject is essentially the problem of the 
accelerated electron already treated by reference to Dirac's 
abstract ideas on electrons. The Schott energy referred to on 
page 97, as requiring a mechanical aether to apply the necessary 
forces, appears to be invoked when Hoyle and Narlikar write: 

An accelerated charge in an otherwise empty space experiences no 
electromagnetic force, whereas a damping force is actually observed. 

It is not clear from this paper how this damping force has 
been 'observed'. Then, referring to Wheeler and Feynman, 
Hoyle and Narlikar write : 

They pointed out that the particles we actually observe to radiate are 
not in an otherwise empty world, so the theoretical result that such 
particles should not radiate is not necessarily a contradiction with 

The paper then talked about a 'static homogeneous universe 
of charged particles' which produces a reaction equal to half the 
usual retarded solution due to accelerated charge minus half the 
advanced solution. Not only do we need an aether, but we need 



the inevitable signals from the future to reconcile the theoretical 
problems of energy radiation by electron acceleration. By assum- 
ing that an electron can radiate its energy scientists have given 
themselves a problem which they overcome by assuming that 
the aether sends energy to the electron anticipating its future 
movements. The human body is an assembly of electric charge 
and, on similar lines of thought, we must argue that the aether 
already contains the data governing our future movements, as if 
our destiny is ordained by the spiritual control of the aether 
substance. However much this may conform with religious con- 
viction, it seems so much easier, scientifically speaking, to 
recognize that an electron will not radiate its energy. We must 
turn our physics around to satisfy this fundamental observation. 
The aether exists. This is beyond dispute. How far beyond dis- 
pute has been the question at issue since Einstein changed our 
frame of reference. However, the future does not exist until it 
happens, at least to those of us who understand what we mean 
by the word 'simultaneous'. 

In Chapter 1 1 it was implied that the great thinkers in the 
classical period in physics had missed the fact that an accelerated 
electron derives its inertia because it does not radiate its energy. 
They did, however, not miss an important part of this fact, that 
is that an accelerated electron need not radiate its energy. 
Rather, they deliberately chose to ignore this possibility when 
they had the message clearly before them. 

Professor G. H. Livens, Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, 
writing in the second edition of his book The Theory of Elec- 
tricity, published by Cambridge University Press in 1926, 
presented this message quite forcibly. It is appropriate to quote 
from his work at some length. After deriving Poynting's 
formula for energy transfer, he writes: 

This is Poynting's result and this vector is usually called after him. It 
is however necessary to emphasize the fact that it represents the flux 
of energy only on the hypothesis that the kinetic energy is distributed 
in the medium with a density d£per unit volume; and even then 
it is uncertain to an additive vector quantity which integrates out 
when taken all over the surface f. However, following usual practice 
in physics, it is best to adhere to the simplest hypothesis. The actual 


phenomena strongly suggest that the flux of energy is correctly 
represented by this vector and the addition of anything else is merely 
a gratuitous complication which is not, after all, necessary. There is 
however no definite and precise reason why we should take the matter 
this way; we might have adopted some other scheme. The only other 
one of any importance is obtained by performing the first integration 
by parts in some other way. We found that. . . . This is the general 
form of a result which has received very influential support in some 
quarters and there is something to be said for it. . . . In any case we 
cannot definitely say that either form is wrong, and the particular 
form of theory is entirely a matter of preference and not proof. The 
chief point to be noticed is that we get different distributions of 
magnetic energy according to the assumptions we make; the differ- 
ences are, it is true, unimportant in the ordinary statical and 
dynamical aspects of the theory so far examined, but cases will be 
examined where the two distributions are of fundamentally different 
types. In some types of fields, for example, the densities of the 
magnetic energy on the two theories are equal in magnitude but 
opposite in sign. 

The above appears between pages 242 and 244 of Livens' 
book. Written, as it was, in the heyday of the quantum theory, 
when more and more evidence was being discovered of energy 
transfer by discrete quantum processes, it is surprising that the 
popular preference did not switch to reject Poynting's ideas and 
accept the alternative outlined by Livens. Probably, however, 
the minds of the time were too busy with the new ideas in wave 
mechanics to be bothered repairing some of the classical theory. 
Professor Livens reverted to the problem on page 313 of his 
book writing 'On the flux of energy in radiation fields': 

According to the usual conceptions of physical science, when 
energy travels by radiation the direction of the flux is along the ray, so 
that the flux vector gives not only the direction but also the intensity 
of the ray (the intensity of a ray being measured by the energy that 
passes along it per unit of time). In ordinary propagation in isotropic 
media the direction of the beam is perpendicular to the wave front, 
because the electric and magnetic vectors are both in this surface' 
The energy in this case travels along the beam normally to the wave 
surfaces. In crystalline media however it is the electric displacement 
vector that is in the wave front and the electric force is not coincident 
with the displacement so that the energy flux vector is no longer 
normal to the wave front. The direction of the ray, that is the path of 
the energy, is then oblique to the wave front surfaces, but in any case 


its direction at any point is the same as that of the energy flux vector 
at that point. 

In entering into a more detailed analysis of these phenomena the 
first difficulty encountered is the ambiguity in the definition of the 
flux vector. The usual procedure is to base the whole discussion on 
Poynting's form of the theory, which appears to provide the simplest 
view of the phenomena, and to ignore the possibility of alternatives. 
We must not however forget that our view-point may be coloured by 
a long use of the particular form of the theory as the sole possibility 
so that its apparent suitability may be at least misleading. It is there- 
fore essential that we bear in mind that Poynting's theory is not the 
only one which is consistent with the rest of the electromagnetic 
scheme and we shall therefore follow the usual discussion along the 
lines laid down by Poynting by a brief review of at least one simple 

After Livens has given the analysis using Poynting's theory he 
then writes: 

The whole of this discussion has been based on Poynting's theory of 
the processes involved. If we turn to the single alternative theory 
suggested in paragraph 229 where the radiation vector appears not as 
the vector product of the force vectors but as the product of the 
complete vector current by the scalar potential ... we shall find a 
remarkably different aspect of the whole of the processes. 

He then shows energy transfer perpendicular to the direction 
of propagation of wave radiation and says: 

Of course in a theory where there is to be no transfer of the energy, 
the whole conception of energy at a point must be different. That this 
is so in our present case is immediately obvious. According to the 
general discussion the appropriate formula for the kinetic energy 
density is . . . that is the kinetic energy now has the same value but 
the opposite sign to that usually employed in Poynting's theory, so 
that the total energy is on the modified theory simply the excess of the 
electric potential energy over the magnetic kinetic energy on the 
older interpretation. In the case of no absorption these are equal and 
the present theory does not associate energy at all with the radiation, 
so that no question of its transference arises. In the case of absorp- 
tion it will be seen that the new theory identifies as the total energy in 
the field just that part of the energy which on Poynting's theory is not 

Livens next considers the Hertzian vibrator and goes on: 
Thus whereas on Poynting's theory the energy supplied to the field 


at the vibrator is transferred outwards and radiated away, on the new 
form of the theory the energy, now however differently interpreted, is 
stored up in the field surrounding the vibrator and counted there'in 
the kinetic energy. ... We know without ambiguity the difference of 
the energies . . ., the Lagrangian function, which is of necessity 
correct, as it leads to equations which have been proved by experi- 
ment to represent the motions of observable electrons. But beyond 
this the rest is pure conjecture. 

Livens says 'beyond this and the rest is pure conjecture', yet 
we have had half a century of pure conjecture thrust upon us 
because wc favoured the wrong alternative. Professor Livens 
puts the case for non-radiation of energy and the case for nega- 
tive field energy. The present author, unaware of Livens' work,* 
was later to develop these same notions on independent lines 
and to follow their stimulus in understanding magnetic 

We may now revert to the problem of action at a distance and 
the nature of electric charge. Let us proceed, attempting a 
simple logical approach. Three dimensions are needed to define 
the parameters of physics. We may choose dimensions which are 
observed as variable quantities or we may opt to base our 
physics on dimensions which match the basic physical con- 
stants. In the latter case we would need to explain then why a 
particular quantity could occur as a constant. Therefore, logi- 
cally, we will choose as primary dimensions quantities which are 
variable, or rather arbitrary, in the scheme of Nature. Thus 
electric charge seems to be a fixed quantum and cannot be con- 
sidered as primary. Hence, we can hope to explain it in terms of 
more fundamental concepts. Nature somehow keeps the electron 
charge invariable. It is a determined quantity and is not arbit- 
rarily fixed by some quirk of Nature. Variables we can use as 
primary dimensions are energy, time and distance. A universe 
can be constructed in one's imagination which permits the dis- 
tance between its elements to be set arbitrarily. If the elements 
move to relate to time then time can be set arbitrarily as well. 
Also, energy does not come in Nature as a fixed quantum. Even 
a photon is frequency-dependent. Hence energy, space (or dis- 

* I am indebted to Mr. David Eagles for drawing Livens' work to my attention 
in November 1970. 


tance) and time are appropriate primary dimension quantities. 

Time, distance and energy may have units set by Nature but 
all can change. More important is that electric charge can come 
in positive and negative forms. Now what does this really mean? 
We only have positive and negative as notional concepts; some- 
thing wc interpret by mathematics in comparing two quantities. 
In terms of time, distance and energy we cannot conceive nega- 
tive time or negative space. Negative energy is no better than 
negative substance. A negative energy component is possible if 
our measure is relative to a positive reference and negative 
magnetic held energy as contemplated in Chapter 12 only 
implies an aether permeated with energy and depleted to become 
energy in some other form. Negative energy is an impossible 
notion in any fundamental frame of reference. Nevertheless we 
can combine space and time to develop opposites. Wc can con- 
ceive oppositcs which arbitrarily become positive or negative in 
the choice of direction of movement or rotation of an element 
of energy. 

It follows from this that the logical approach to explaining 
Coulomb's law and the charge it connects is to try to seek out 
something which offers motion of energy in a plenum. Vortex 
theory is the likely candidate. Such speculations will not be 
pursued here save for a cautionary remark. Vortex theory often 
presumes the existence of particle forms in a fluid medium and 
accounts for their interaction in terms of the vortices ever 
present when they move. This assumption will not advance us 
to a better solution than was found when vortex theories went 
out of fashion at the beginning of the twentieth century. The 
particle form itself must be part of the same fluid form. It 
could be a cluster of vortex filaments in an all-pervading incom- 
pressible fluid medium. 

Given a particle concept in terms of motion and an energy 
substance, mass can be developed from the dimensional relation- 
ship between energy and velocity. Perhaps then if the particle 
form is nothing more than a vortex system it may move to 
conserve itself and thus display inertia! properties and its mass 
in keeping with the author's theory. To be reasonably content 
with such an approach Coulomb's law would need to be 




explained and, consequent upon this, magnetic effects. This was 
the fundamental object of many of the old aether theories which 
claimed success in their time. Whittaker* has provided an 
excellent account of such theories. Also, however, vortex theory 
is still very much alive in some minds. See, for example, the 
work of Wilhclm M. Bauer.''' 

It may seem to the reader that to speak of vortex theories of a 
fluid aether is to set the clock back a century. It is out of tune 
with the world of the modern physicist. Yet the eventual truths 
about the aether will not change with time and the truths of the 
past will not cither. The physicists of the last century may not 
have had the experimental data we possess today, but equally 
they could focus their undistracted attention on to the funda- 
mental philosophical implications of the subject. Their con- 
clusions may not be conclusive, but their lines of enquiry 
deserve respect and should not be rejected without some 
caution. After all, they did possess some experimental facts 
which the modern physicist still cannot explain. 

It is gratifying to see a report of a lecture in June 1971 
presented by Professor Wheeler at the Cambridge Institute of 
Theoretical Astronomy :+ 

His new discipline describes reality without recourse to either mass 
or charge. Whereas Einstein described a universe where the curvature 
of space-time was a product of real masses for which Einstein could 
not account theoretically, Wheeler's universe accounts for all pheno- 
mena without the need to postulate any real mass at all. This is a 
revolutionary improv ement on Einstein. Its full implications are only 
beginning to be realised. In superspace. Wheeler contends, 'pre- 
geometry' constructs material out of non-material. This plenteous 
nothing (not to be confused with antiquated theories of an aether) 
contains entities of dimensions far too small for direct observation. 
However, on a scale of the order of 10 -33 cm the universe is a fabu- 
ously rich sea of ev ents, eddies, v ortices, and foam. 

Let us, therefore, revive vortex theory of the substance permeat- 
ing empty space, but let us be at pains to avoid anything anti- 
quated. A modern aether is what is needed. 

* History of the Theories of Aether and Electricity, The Classical Theories, 
Nelson, London, 1951. 

t Mechaiiik Elektronia^netischer V'orgcinge, 1965. 

I New Scientist and Science Journal, July 29, 1971, p. 242. 


The Nuclear Aether 

The physics of the aether is to many minds the physics of the 
nineteenth century. The twentieth century has so far been con- 
cerned with the physics of the atom and its quantum behaviour. 
Physics has assumed importance in industry primarily because 
electrical technology in the semiconductor field has become the 
province of the physicist rather than the electrical engineer. 
Also, physics has now an undeniable place of importance 
because everyone is all too aware of the energy hidden inside the 
atomic nucleus. For this reason the minds of many research 
physicists are technology-orientated. Theoretical physics is 
complicated, the aether is dead and who has the time anyway to 
be concerned with such an antiquated topic! The more open- 
minded may say that if the aether has a place it is in cosmology; 
it is certainly not in the field of the nucleus. But let us see if we 
can dispel this belief. 

Is there anything about the atomic nucleus we cannot explain ? 
The atomic mass does not increment in proportion to the atomic 
charge. It seems that over a range of atoms of low atomic mass 
the number of nucleons is approximately twice that of the 
number of proton charge units in the nucleus. The nucleons 
comprise the protons and neutrons believed to form the 
nucleus. At high mass numbers the ratio of two increases 
roughly to about two and a half. An explanation of this would 
help our understanding of nuclear physics. Does the reader 
already have such an explanation? If not, perhaps the following 
analysis will have some appeal. 

Consider an electric charge surrounded by a concentric 
uniform spherical distribution of discrete charges of opposite 
polarity. Now calculate the electrostatic interaction energy of 
such a system. This quantity will be found to be negative until 


the spherical charge distribution has a charge exactly double the 
magnitude of the central charge. Thereafter we would have 
positive interaction energy signifying instability, because the 
'binding' energy associated with the negative polarity has 
ceased to 'bind'. We may expect, therefore, an entity to form as 
a stable aggregation in which the central charge acquires an 
enveloping double charge of opposite polarity," assuming the 
spherical distribution. If we consider instead a central charge 
with a uniform spatial charge distribution surrounding it, 
bounded by a sphere, then instability sets in when the surround- 
ing charge is two and a half times that of the core. Between 
these two limiting examples, we could have, say, charge dis- 
tributed in two concentric shells of unit and double unit 
radius, the charge content being proportional to the area of the 
spherical shell form. This gives a ratio of 2-166 for stability. 

It needs little imagination to recognize the relevance of this to 
our nuclear problem. The atomic mass number is a measure of 
the number of negative nucleons clustered around a central core 
of charge. This charge has negligible mass compared with the 
nucleon mass contribution but the charge is the positive charge 
we regularly associate with the atomic nucleus. We need not 
speak of a combination of neutrons and protons to explain 
qualitatively the numerical difference between atomic number 
and atomic mass number. Somehow the charges of the nucleons 
are not detected, because we well know that the atomic electrons 
only react to the central charge. They ignore the nucleon 
charges just as they ignore charges in the aether medium. 
Indeed, the electrons may see these nucleon charges as they see 
the aether. In fact, the nucleons may be deemed to be arrayed 
in a structure and to have displaced negative aether charge so as 
to substitute themselves in the structured form of the aether 
itself. Their charge is undetected just as the mass of a buoyant 
body goes undetected in a fluid of equal mass density. 

Hence, we need to invoke our aether. Also, we see support for 
the cubic lattice distribution of aether charge. An oxygen 
nucleus can be adequately populated by a single shell of discrete 
charges. There are 26 charges disposed in a regular cubic system 
about a central charge and 16 of these are presumably replaced 


by negative nucleons. The two to one ratio applies, because the 
oxygen atom has a atomic number of 8. Now take chromium, 
for example, which has an atomic number of 24. Here, we might 
expect charge to be distributed over another shell as well. The 
stability condition, calculated for idealized spherical distribu- 
tions, requires 2T66 times as many nucleons as units of central 
charge. Hence an atomic mass number of 52, as is found. 
Similarly, for heavier atoms we find an appropriate relation 
between the two quantities conforming with this theory. 

It has to be accepted from this that the nucleus consists of a 
central charge surrounded by a cluster of regularly spaced 
nucleons of negative charge. As the author has explained in his 
book Physics without Einstein, the nucleons form into a lattice 
structure with bonds joining the nucleons and, additionally, 
pions contributing to the energy of the bonds also derive their 
energy from an interaction with the nucleons. These features of 
the nucleus modify the mass and add some complication. 
Different isotopic forms may depend upon alternative structure 
configurations rendered possible by the different bond positions 
available. This is a matter for further analysis. When the above- 
mentioned book was published the author supposed the 
nucleons to be formed as a system of neutrons and protons, as is 
conventional. The later realization of the stable charge system 
introduced in this chapter, however, has led to a revision of the 
model. All the nucleons are the same. They are negative particles 
of mass approximating that of the proton. 

The central charge itself is the conventional nuclear charge 
of the atom but it has relatively small mass. The physical size 
of this charge has been measured by experiment. It is approxi- 
mately the size of the electron or positron multiplied by the 
atomic number, as if, for example, the oxygen atom has a 
charged core formed by the merging of 8 positrons which 
conserve their charge within their aggregate volume. The forma- 
tion of different atoms can then be understood as a process by 
which a positron core is successively made larger by combina- 
tion with other cores. The conservation of charge is to be 
expected, but the conservation of volume implies the presence of 
an enveloping incompressible fluid, again evidencing the need 


for an aether medium. The existence of the charged core in a 
highly energetic environment permeated by heavy negative 
particles forms a nucleus. The charge has an affinity for heavy 
particles because they do have their own mutual gravitational 
attraction and this makes their association more stable. Also 
the higher the mass of the elements the less sensitive the system 
to spurious disturbances from light bodies such as electrons. 
Given the charge quantity at the central core, the nucleus forms 
to assure the stability criteria discussed earlier in this chapter. 
There is a limit on the size of the central charge. This charge 
itself has mass which will increase more than in direct propor- 
tion with the charge. Thus, the charge of a uranium core may 
have its own mass of nearly 2,000 times that of the positron, 
even though its charge is only 92 times that of this particle. Also, 
there is a limit on the spatial extent of the nucleoli lattice. This 
reaches the innermost electron shell of the atom when the atomic 
number is of the order of 40. However, this latter effect may not 
be relevant because the nucleons are hidden in the charge 
pattern of the aether. It would seem, therefore, more likely that 
it is the mass of the central charge core which governs the 
stability of the heavy nuclei. 

Before concluding the chapter some comment about the 
conservation of charge volume is appropriate. If discrete 
charges exist in a surrounding pressurized but incompressible 
medium they will adapt in shape to be spherical. This is assured 
by the self-repulsion of their intrinsic electric charge. Also, the 
charge will be distributed within the bounding sphere so that a 
uniform pressure exists within the body of the charge. The elec- 
tric energy thus stored by the charge is inversely proportional to 
its radius. A question of stability arises, particularly as charges 
of different sizes may exist. To answer this, we can say that, due 
to the uniform nature of the enveloping medium, if one charge 
expands another must contract, and yet, energy must be con- 
served. There can be equilibrium in this exchange relationship 
and so stability in the charge forms. The energy conservation 
condition will act to assure that charges of different size do not 
exchange any of the space they occupy. They will remain 
mutually stable under normal conditions. The energy criterion 


is primary to any force action. Nevertheless, the charges will 
tend to form into families of equal charge and equal sizes or 
energies. Somehow, nature determines certain possible forms of 
particles and these forms then prevail to exclude any hybrid 
varieties which form transiently. 

This argument also permits us to understand how charges in 
the aether might vary in size to change their mass. The author 
believes that gravitation is due to a modification of mass of 
certain aether particles. The idea is that there is a cyclic motion 
of matter w ith a lattice formed by aether charge and a counter- 
balancing effect due to motion of other aether charge. The 
aether adapts to balance the mass of matter present. The 
balancing charges of highest mass react and become very slightly 
smaller, so increasing their mass and causing a very small 
electromagnetic effect which explains gravitation. 

Should a reader have difficulty understanding how a particle 
of charge can be stable and yet vary in size to accommodate 
kinetic energy as a change of its electric energy also correspond- 
ing to its change in mass, he should ask himself a question. 
How can a charge expand to release kinetic energy to itself 
when such energy is stored by its contraction? A charge will 
exchange energy with other charge, but stability amongst 
families of identical charges is assured by the mutual balance. 


The Earth's Electricity 

We seek to understand the universe in terms of the physical 
phenomena which we witness in our earthly reference frame. 
Thus, we knew the earth had a magnetic field and were not at all 
surprised when we found that the sun had one as well. We dis- 
covered how the optical spectra of radiant materials reveal 
their nature, and it was logical that we should find similar 
spectra in solar radiation. Minute displacements of the spectral 
lines were our clues to new cosmic phenomena, and when, for 
some stars, these displacements became significant we were 
confronted with a really mystifying problem. The spectral red 
shifts of the quasars will long remain a unresolved problem 
because wc have no earthly phenomenon by which to formulate 
comparisons. The earth cannot provide the reference needed for 
our understanding. Only our theories duly extrapolated can be 
forged into shapes able to give satisfaction, but there can be 
little certainty in these matters. The earth is our test bed for 
theory. Phenomena verified on earth can reasonably be expected 
to have their counterparts elsewhere in the universe. And so it 
must be with that phenomenon we know as atmospheric elec- 
tricity. Somehow the earth retains a negative electric charge. It 
seems not to have been explained in our reference sources, yet it 
exists and, if it exists as a terrestrial phenomenon it can presum- 
ably exist on the sun. We need to understand it if we are to seek 
the fullest understanding of solar phenomena. When we dis- 
covered nuclear energy, the sun became a nuclear fire. Before 
that time the sun was a body generating heat, emitting light and 
somehow surrounded by luminescent clouds. It was hot gas, 
electrically ionized gas when ionization was discovered, and it 
became nuclear as our earthly minds grew to comprehend 
nuclear phenomena. It is indeed surprising that the thunderball, 

THE earth's electricity 145 
as we have seen, did not become nuclear until 1970. It has been 
suggested that both the sun and the thunderball are, in fact, 
mere spheres of rotating aether, but acceptance of this depends 
upon our belief in the existence of such a medium. We are, when 
it comes to understanding the nature of astronomical bodies, 
including that great solar source of our own existence, mere 
victims of fashion. We depend upon our understanding of 
phenomena in our terrestrial frame of reference. Why then are 
we not paying attention to the earth's electric charge? Just 
because we cannot explain it does not mean that it lacks great 
cosmic importance. 

The subject was given special treatment in a book by H. A. 
Wilson.* Wilson writes: 

The difference of potential between the earth and a point in the air 
above it may be found by means of an insulated conductor provided 
with some device to bring it to the same potential as the surrounding 
air. . . . The potential difference between the conductor and the 
ground can be measured with an electrostatic voltmeter connected 
to the conductor and to the ground by insulated wires. If the con- 
ductor is on a pole 10 m. above the ground in the open air away from 
buildings or trees, the potential difference between it and the ground 
will be of the order of 1500 volts. The vertical field varies greatly. In 
fine dry weather it is usually directed downwards, indicating a nega- 
tive charge on the earth's surface. It varies with the time of day and 
season of the year. The vertical field has been measured at various 
heights by means of balloons. It is found to diminish as the height 
increases, and usually becomes negligible at about 10,000 m. 

Wilson then demonstrates the challenge confronting physic- 
ists. How can this charge be maintained? Wilson calculates 
that the conductivity of air would discharge such electricity in 
about 1 7 minutes. Yet it is sustained. Various explanations are 
then reviewed. Rain drops may carry charge downwards to 
restore loss. But observers say that raindrops are usually posi- 
tively charged and this could not explain the earth's negative 
charge. Lightning Hashes may account for the current balance. 
It may be that more flashes convey current upwards than convey 
current downwards. Hence, if enough lightning flashes occur 
over the whole earth's surface, we can expect a negative charge 

* Modem Physics, H. A. Wilson, Blackie, London, 1937, Ch. XVII. 


to be held by the earth in spite of steady conduction losses. This 
seemed quite feasible to Wilson. Note, however, that we cannot 
then explain the origin of lightning in terms of the existence of 
the earth's electric field. Wilson then mentions a suggestion by 
Simpson that charged particles are shot out from the sun. Some 
reach the earth and the positive ones are stopped in upper 
regions whereas the negative ones, electrons, penetrate to the 
lower atmosph ere. The problem here is that the electrons would 
have to move at velocities close to the speed of light to set up 
the observed charge on the earth. Also experiments to collect the 
charge they bri ng with them have yielded null results. So 
Wilson finally concludes: 

It will be seen from this discussion that we are as yet very far from 
having a satisfactory theory of atmospheric electricity. 

Now, we arc interested in this earthly phenomenon because it 
might tell us more about the source of the sun's energy. So let us 
question the idea that electrons travelling from the sun at a 
speed close to that of light can be the cause of the earth's electric 
charge. First, why should the speed be close to that of light? 
Well, if the earth has an electric charge it w ill act on incoming 
electrons repulsively and slow them down. They have to have 
enough momentum to fight against the earth's electric field and 
reach the surface. The number arriving will determine the 
earth's charge and it will rise to the appropriate value subject 
mainly to this bombardment rate but also subject to conduc- 
tivity leakage and lightning discharges. The earth's charge is 
known from the electric fields we can measure. It happens to 
correspond to the electron velocity of the speed of light. Is not 
this a coincidence? Or is it evidence of scientific import? 
Experimental attempts to collect charge directly from these 
electrons failed. A large insulated copper collector was used but 
it acquired no measurable charge when exposed to the sun's 
radiation. How do we solve this mystery? 

Let me quote from another completely unrelated chapter in 
Wilson's book. In his chapter on Quantum Mechanics at pages 
92 and 93 he writes about an experiment involving interference 
and diffraction of light: 



The light acts like particles in this experiment . . . the electrons shot 
out receive energy from the light. ... If we suppose that the source of 
light emits only one photon, the chance of an effect due to this photon 
occurring at any place will be proportional to the wave intensity, at 
the place, when the source is supposed to be emitting a continuous 
train of waves. The waves therefore carry no energy, and the wave 
theory may be regarded as merely auxiliary mathematics which 
enables the distribution of the photons to be calculated. Just why 
such a method of calculation is necessary and why it gives results in 
agreement with the facts is not known. . . . The velocity of a photon 
is always equal to the velocity of light, so its momentum is equal to 
. . . its energy divided by the velocity of light.* 

Apart from the interesting recognition by Wilson that waves 
carry no energy, a thesis expounded elsewhere in this work, he 
asserts the truth that wave mechanics do not explain; they just 
happen to work correctly. One may yet have to analyse the 
aether to really understand the w hys and wherefores of the utility 
of wave mechanics in treating the problems of Nature. But this 
is digressing from the point which the discerning research- 
minded reader will already have appreciated. If light acts like 
particles and electrons 'shot out' receive energy from light, we 
have answered the anomaly confronting us above. The sun emits 
light. Light travels at the speed of light. It comes in packages 
known as photons. Photons impart momentum to electrons in 
atoms and thereby ionize the air. An electric field is established 
in the atmosphere in appropriate relationship with the absorp- 
tion of solar radiation. We do not need electrons from the sun. 
All we need is light. This will impart momentum to electrons in 
atoms and sustain their displacement towards the earth. An 
electric field will be maintained directly in dependence upon the 
sun's radiation. The earth will have an electric charge which is 
seemingly negative but the effect will be more analogous to the 
Maxwell displacement in an insulator medium when an electric 
field is applied. It is just that the same effect is produced by 
light radiation, or rather the total electromagnetic radiation 
from the sun. 

Now, as stated above, we know that the speed of light is the 

* The text has been changed in the quotation by replacing mathematical 
symbols for terms 'velocity of light' and 'energy'. 


key to the relationship between the momentum and the energy 
which is needed to hold an electron down in the earth's electric 
field. This is easily verified because we know the earth's potential 
gradient at its surface and its electric charge per unit area. Hence 
we know the force urging this surface charge into the ionized air 
adjacent the earth's surface. For equilibrium the solar radiation 
pressure is absorbed by the earth's atoms at the surface and, 
though deployed to urge the displacement of electrons and ions' 
this displacement is effectively neutralized by the balancing field 
(the potential gradient) due to the earth's surplus of electrons. 
The rate of supply of solar radiation energy per unit area is the 
quantity known from measurements. Taking this quantity, the 
earth's electric field and the charge then deduced from this field, 
we find that the balance condition will occur if the momentum 
of solar radiation happens to be the rate of supply of solar 
energy divided by the velocity of light. Conversely, the earth's 
electric field can actually be deduced in quantitative terms from 
the value of solar energy radiation since it is well known that a 
photon imparts momentum in proportion to its energy divided 
by the speed of light. 

Due allowances must, of course, be made for the inclination 
of the radiant solar beam and the heat absorption effects of the 
atmosphere. The earth itself will not store much of the solar 
heat. Its surface temperature reacts rapidly to the daily cyclic 
changes in the solar heat supply because the earth has a poor 
heat conductivity. Thus, heat received by radiation is convected 
or radiated upwards without the balance being upset by any 
significant thermal inertial effects in the earth's surface material. 
It is the balance of radiation energy which is really effective at 
the earth's surface in developing electric field. It appears that 
much of the upward heat transfer is by convection and convec- 
tion plays no part in inducing electric fields comparable with 
those induced by radiation action. We must also take note of the 
tremendous heat capacity of the atmosphere. This does absorb 
solar energy during the day and it develops downward radiation 
throughout the night, sustaining the earth's electric field even 
when the sun ,s not visible. Of course, the measured electric field 
varies cyclically during the 24 hour period. Three factors co- 

THE earth's electricity 149 

operate in developing cyclic variation, different radiation pat- 
terns for the atmosphere, the sun and the earth's surface. The 
atmosphere absorbs and re-radiates solar energy and since it has 
a high thermal capacity its heat content will cycle about a mean 
value with substantial phase-lag relative to the direct action of 
the sun. Curve A in Fig. 10 is representative and shows maxi- 
mum radiation in the early evening. The sun's radiation when 
resolved into its vertical components will vary as indicated in 
curve B. The combined effect of atmospheric and solar radiation 

2 4 6 S 10 12 !-! : 18 20 22 24 

Fig. 10 

is the curve C having a substantial midday peak. This radiation 
heats the earth and, in keeping with the heat emission properties 
of usual materials at earth temperature, about half will be re- 
radiated upwards. The effect is shown at D, with the peak in the 
early afternoon. The peak is significant because radiation is very 
sensitive to increase in temperature and the earth's surface 
temperature is readily changed in dependence upon incident 
radiation. Subtraction of curve D from C gives the resultant 
downward radiation, curve E, as a measure of the earth's 
potential gradient. The curve has two peaks during a period of 
24 hours and, indeed, this is exactly what is observed experi- 

In Fig. 1 1 data presented by Swann in 1919 is reproduced.* It 

* Jour. Franklin Inst., 188, p. 577, 1919. 


applies to a typical summer day, presumably at a North 
American location. The curve shows that the earth's potential 
gradient, as measured, was of the order of 100 volts per metre 
but the interesting point is that the form of the curve is exactly 







3 6 9 12 15 18 21 24 


Fig. 11 

that which we can predict on the theoretical account given 
above. Swann observes that the average potential is higher in 
winter than in summer. This may seem surprising at first but, in 
fact, it verifies the theory just presented. The curve such as A in 
Fig. 10 will always be representative of radiation coming verti- 
cally downwards, whereas the curve B depends upon the angle 
of inclination between the vertical and the sight line to the sun. 
In fact, curve B in the figure is developed as a full cycle of a sine 
wave on the assumption that at noon the sun is directly over- 
head. In the northerly part of the hemisphere, and particularly 
in winter, there is further attenuation of the direct solar radia- 
tion. Thus, curve A will become more predominant in winter 
and curve B will be less predominant. Additionally, since the 
solar radiation is impacting the earth's atmosphere more 
obliquely in winter relative to summer, a higher proportion of 
the sun's radiation energy is absorbed and this, in turn, con- 
tributes more to curve A while removing the strength from 
curve B. The lower temperature of the earth in winter ensures 
that the back radiation is significantly reduced. In summer, 


although the energy received is greater than in winter, the fact 
that more of the radiation comes in at an angle and a higher 
proportion re-radiated by the earth results in the actual radia- 
tion pressure and the consequent electric field being greater in 
winter than in summer. Of course, this distinction between 
winter and summer effects only applies in certain latitudes. 

There can be little doubt that the earth's electric field is there- 
fore generated by the pressure action of solar radiation as 
described. It is interesting to observe that Swann, writing in 
1919, came very close to realizing this mechanism. He analysed 
the effect of gamma radiation impinging on electrons and used 
data for ionization based on experimental measurement of the 
effects of 'radiation from above". At this time, Swann could not 
have been aware of the later discovered Compton Effect which 
showed that all the electromagnetic solar radiation received at 
the earth can be absorbed to impart momentum to electrons. 

The above account of the origin of the earth's electric field is 
not an explanation of the phenomenon of lightning. Neverthe- 
less, just as Wilson imagined that lightning might provide the 
current needed to sustain the earth's charge, we can now invert 
this argument and say that the solar radiation pressure will 
restore the charge dissipated by lightning flashes. 

It is evident that some physical mechanism triggers dis- 
charges in the atmosphere. A cloud, for example, will absorb 
rather more radiation than the clear atmosphere. Therefore, the 
cloud will become charged. It becomes a giant capacitor floating 
in the sky. Atmospheric conditions conducive to the formation 
of dark thunderclouds will enhance this action. Then, when 
clouds interact electrostatically, either with themselves or with 
the earth, we may find a substantial positive charge is drawn 
towards a substantial negative charge and lightning discharges 
occur. What the explanation of the earth's electric field does 
offer is the mechanism by which charge is induced. All the many 
factors, such as ice or water droplets, which have been observed 
to contribute to the initiation of thunderstorms, may still per- 
form their recognized roles. However, we do not preclude by the 
new ideas put forward in this work the prospect of cosmic 
lightning discharges at the sun's surface, for example. We do 


not need to argue that ice is an essential feature of the physical 
basis of lightning and that this precludes cosmic thunderstorms 
save, as Sir Basil Schonland concedes,* in 'dying stars having 
relatively cold atmospheres'. 

It was not really necessary to consider the origins of lightning 
in this book about the aether. The topic has been included in 
order to show that the seemingly uncertain source of the earth's 
electricity can be explained in association with lightning and in 
such a way as to suggest that the apparent surface temperature 
of the sun is enhanced by lightning discharge. Heat radiation 
from the solar energy source induces electric fields which charge 
the solar atmosphere.t Lightning discharges produce high 
temperatures in transient striations which occur continuously, 
making the sun appear hotter than it really is. It is also interest- 
ing to note that Jupiter, for example, appears to have a tempera- 
ture higher than it should have if all the heat it received from the 
sun is re-radiated. This suggests an internal heat source but 
equally it suggests a non-uniform temperature, inasmuch as the 
disproved heat balance assumes uniformity of temperature. 

In the next chapter we will examine the prospect of discover- 
ing the source of the sun's energy. 

* See page 13. 

t The action of radiation pressure, that is photons, on electrons in stars is 
discussed by M. Stix at p. 161 of Astronomy & Astrophysics, January 1970 and 
used to explain charge displacement and magnetic fields resulting from stellar 
rotation of this charge. 


The Cosmic Aether 

What has been accomplished in this book so far? A case in 
favour of re-admitting the banished aether has been presented. 
But what is the reader's verdict? Not proven? It is time to 
believe that a thundcrball is a whirlpool of aether when we can 
reproduce thunderballs experimentally and harness their use in 
storing energy until heat is needed in a furnace application. We 
can await proof in the next century w hen someone contrives this 
experiment, and perhaps succeeds in cooling objects by extract- 
ing aether whirlpools developed within them. It is unnecessary 
to believe in an aether-based explanation of gravitation and 
terrestrial magnetism when our measurements tell all we need to 
know for practical purposes and there is existing theory which 
apparently satisfies the majority of those interested. It is mere 
speculation to presume to explain the origins of the solar system. 
Such speculation can be tolerated if founded upon accepted 
physics, but to invoke an aether in such an explanation is asking 
for a little too much credulity. 

The reader has to be cautious. He need not be so cautious 
about believing Dirac's theory of the electron. After all, in spite 
of the criticism presented in this book, there is general accept- 
ance of Dirac's work, abstract or not. And if you have to teach 
physics to others you must surely teach the physics which has 
appeal, abstract though it may be. So by all means be suspicious. 
Our minds are all part of a slow moving world made all the 
more inert by interactions which push and pull new ideas in all 
directions but prevail in rejecting w hat we do not want to believe. 
The aether is not wanted by the modern physicist. 

If this book has been of interest it has served its purpose. 
Acceptance is not expected. 

In the author's book Physics without Einstein a full analysis 


modern aether science 
and detailed quantitative account of the physics of the aether 
were presented. What was offered was an alternative to Rela- 
tivity which went further and ga\e rigorous evaluations of the 
basic universal constants of physics. The Fine Structure Con- 
stant and the Constant of Gravitation were important results 
but also quantities such as the binding energy of the dcuteron 
and the geomagnetic moment were shown susceptible to evalua- 
tion by the aether structure presented. Having discovered or, as 
some would say, contrived or built such a new theory, it was 
appropriate in this present work to attack the established theory. 
Relativity is intriguing because it is so elusive. It is seemingly 
impregnable. Yet, as we have seen, it has a weakness in respect 
of boundary criteria. The grand edifice of Relativity is built on 
the wrong foundation. In this work there has also been an attack- 
on the abstract ideas in the physics of the electron. The alter- 
native offered is an explanation w hich is no more abstract than 
the classical physics of the nineteenth century and yet one 
which actually explains the nature of mass. Above all, the 
alternative ollered is not sterile. It is as fruitful as Nature herself. 

The aether permeating and surrounding our earth is con- 
templated as a uniformly dense positively charged electric 
continuum containing discrete negative electric charges formed 
in a lattice array. Because of the transitional motion of the 
earth some of these negative electric charges arc free from the 
lattice as we have already noted in Chapter 4. The lattice deter- 
mines the electromagnetic frame of reference and moves as a 
unit in a cyclic motion. The lattice charges are displaced from 
their neutral positions in the continuum and move in centrifugal 
balance, fhi;- motion determines the time parameter and is 
necessary to vitalize the aether and prevent a condition of 
negative electrostatic interaction energy, as may be shown 
mathematically. The continuum is endowed by the presence of 
some relative!} sparse but massive aether particles which assure 
dynamic by the continuum system and which perform 
the ke\ role in determining the electromagnetic action we know 
as gr.vuaucn. Also, each such particle is, associated with an 
c! °-' ; - ! ' '-"^^ v-ith the lattice system. Such electrons qualify 
the e:ce«n M;;t;c interaction state a little and actually prime the 


aether with energy so that it may sustain gravitational fields. 
This will, of course, seem very complicated and it is beyond the 
scope of this work to analyse the aether structure in detail. It 
suffices here to note that an aether expansion process may occur 
by which the massive positively charged aether particles expand 
to become a part of the uniform continuum and the correspond- 
ing electron becomes a negative lattice particle. Energy is 
released in this process, contributing to motion. Moreover, all 
the elementary particle forms of matter wc know can be pro- 
duced in transitional phases of this expansion process. The 
massive aether particle has nearly three times the mass of the 
proton. The creation of matter is a consequence of the expansion 
of space, the transient by-product of an expansion which 
permits parts of the aether occupied by such matter to adapt its 
stable state to a new apportioning of the particle populations. 

Now, it appears tiiat matter as we know it, as atoms, protons, 
etc., can only come into existence if an abundant supply of 
electrons and positron.-, is available.* Accordingly, we must 
anticipate the matter creation process to occur steadily at the 
unstable boundaries between aether of different polarities. If the 
earth's aether contains essentially low-mass negative particles, it 
cannot sustain the matter creation process. Nor can aether, 
according to the above model, with all polarities reversed. It is 
at moving boundaries between two such types of aether that we 
can look for the charge constituents to create matter. 

This takes us to the concept that the sun contains aether of 
polarity opposite to that surrounding it and permeating the 
planets. The origin of the sun itself is the matter created as the 
two aethers meld at their interface, the enveloping aether form 
gradually closing in as the inner aether form appears to shrink 
by the polarity inversion process. But there is a prime movement 
of the boundaries owing to the transiational motion of the solar 
system. In this way, atoms arc being formed steadily from the 
aether and emit photon radiation generated from their thermal 
condition. Probably the nuclear interchanges, as heavier atoms 
form from the already created proton-sized matter, tire the true 

* See Chapter 7 of the author's Physics without Einstein. 


source of the heat generating this radiation. But this account has 
gone beyond merely asserting a nuclear origin for solar radia- 
tion energy. The origin of matter has been traced to the aether. 
The gradual process of formation of matter as the solar aether 
shrinks in company with the gradual expansion of space is a 
feature of this new explanation as is the catalytic action of 
electric discharge phenomena in transforming the radiation 

It is still speculation. Where is there any evidence? Well, the 
reversals of magnetism in astronomical bodies may provide 
some evidence. Remember that in Chapter 7 it was noted that 
Dirac said there was no way of distinguishing a star from one in 
which all the polarities of its constituent charges are reversed. 
This may be true as between two stars but, if all polarities in a 
particular star were to reverse, as they would if the aether 
in v erted polarity, there would be a reversal of the magnetic field. 

The same is true for the earth. Dirac also envisaged that, for 
reasons of symmetry, perhaps half the stars were made up of 
matter of inverted polarity, anti-protons substituting for protons 
and positrons for electrons. 

Applying symmetry considerations to the aether we then 
may expect aether to comprise vast cubic cells of one polarity 
interposed between identical cells of opposite polarity as 
depicted in Fig. 12. Stars are indicated in a random distribution 
but a star in a region of positive aether would have an aether 
core of negative polarity on the principles outlined. Further, the 
symmetry, preserved even as space expands, would ensure that 
the flat boundaries are stable and not regions for matter creation. 

We are still speculating, but at least have the comfort of the 
similar speculation by Dirac. But now let us examine some 
interesting evidence. 

The solar system moves steadily through space following a 
curved path about a remote point in our galaxy. The earth 
shares this motion and every time the solar system passes one of 
the aether boundaries in Fig. 12 the earth's magnetic field will 
reverse direction. If the sun moves at right angles to a flat 
boundary, the earth's field will reverse at regular intervals. More 
likely is the migration of the sun along an oblique trajectory, 



-/•' !'• + 'i - -I 4- 

Fig. 12 

such as one of those depicted by the broken lines in Fig. 12. and 
this would result in irregular reversals of the geomagnetic field. 
However, such irregular reversals would be systematic and 
could occur rapidly if the solar system passed close to an inter- 
section between the aether boundaries. Three reversals could 
occur very close to each other in time in this occasional cir- 

The reversals of the earth's magnetic field are typified by 
experimental data presented by A. H. Cook in the August 1970 
issue of Physics Bulletin at page 350. These data are portrayed 
in Fig. 13. 


Compare now these reversal data with a steady rate of pro- 
gress along the trajectories in Fig. 12. Regard them as depicting 
motion in a circle from different viewpoints relative to the co- 
ordinate system created by the aether symmetry. The reversals 
in Fig. 13 can be matched exactly by the steady motion depicted 
in Fig. 12. Reversals are indicated at Ri, R_>, R3, etc. Further, 
there is the expected orbital pattern. This provides an assuring 
check on the proposal that there is an aether with symmetrical 
polarity inversion as depicted. Interested readers will see that 
given known data for the speed of the solar system through 
space, as measured relative to an assumed isotropic cosmic 
background radiation.* we can work out the cell dimensions of 
the aether. The lattice spacing is of the order of 300 light years. 
Also, from the earth orbit evidenced by the magnetic reversal 
data, an estimate can be made of the distance to the point in our 
galaxy about which we are moving and the orbital period of this 
galactic motion. An orbital period of 10 8 years is indicated by 
the data. 

Before ending this book it is perhaps important to comment 
about the Michelson-Morley Experiment. Traditionally, aether 
theory has been set in conflict with the null result of this experi- 
ment. The author has dealt with this conflict in his previous 
works! and has really nothing to add that is new. Reference is, 
however, made to the recent analysis of RuderferJ who has 
reviewed the subject only to conclude that the aether is very 
much in evidence and in no way rejected by the Michelson- 
Morley approach. 

Ruderfer writes: 

In retrospect, the search for dynamic proof of an ether has been a 
sterile one. It has distracted us for over a century from what may be 
stated as the original fundamental question: Is the space between 
matter a void or a plenum? When approached in this way, the ether 
may be viewed as a natural extension of the known hierarchal struc- 
ture of matter - ponderable bodies, compounds, atoms, elementary 
particles. The relative rapidity of the discovery of this series and the 
prevalent belief in the existence of an elementary particle substructure 

* E. K. Conklin, Xaiuiv, June 7. 1%9, p. 971, gives 160 km/sec. 
| The hooks referred on page 130. 

j M- Ruddier, Lctlerc al Xuoro Cimcnlo, Series [, Vol. 3, pp. 658-62, 1970. 



presages further structural delineation in the microcosm, conceivably 
ad infinitum. The ether may then be regarded as the repository of all 
the submicroscopic structures that may conceivably exist but are 
beyond present observational limits. The attribution of energy 
properties to such a plenum inevitably follows. In fact, the measur- 
able QED and the relativistic effects of matter on the vacuum and 
space-time provide independent support for the necessity of ascribing 
energy properties to the ether; from the minuteness of these effects of 
the interaction of matter and ether, it must be surmised that the ether 
energy density must be much greater than that of matter. That all of 
the energy of the observable universe may then originate from the 
ether now becomes plausible. 

Later he writes: 

In summation, the various physical disciplines appear to be intri- 
cately interwoven with the concept of an ether. One may wonder if the 
widespread rejection of an ether, which primarily derives from the 
inability to dynamically detect it, is worth the loss of its synergistic 
potential in physical theory. 

This is seemingly a good note on which to end, but why 
should the reader be left to ponder a philosophical problem? 
Instead, the reader is offered the stimulating thought that the 
aether is about to reveal its essential role as a source from which 
matter originates and into which matter dissipates itself. There 
is energy conservation but matter is really particles of energy in 
an intermediate state of decay between their primordial origin 
(particles having a mass some 5063 times that of the electron) 
and their primordial destiny (particles of about 0-0408 electron 
mass units or part of the fluid plenum, depending upon their 
polarity). These quantities are fully explained in the author's 
analysis elsewhere.* But now it appears that some further 
experimental support is at hand. Such particles, as ingredients 
of the unseen aether, have never been detected directly, but if the 
aether contains particles of these dimensions what would be 
their consequence to electromagnetic wave propagation? Might 
not they affect frequencies corresponding to their annihilation 
or creation? The related photon frequencies correspond with 
energies of 2-58 GeV and 20-9 keV, respectively. It is then 

* Physics without Einstein. 


interesting to quote a problem of cosmic X-rays recently 
reviewed in New Scientist and Science Journal:* 

The main stumbling block to progress is the shape of the X-ray 
spectrum. This has a curious discontinuity at 20-40 keV, usually 
termed the kink or break : it corresponds to a break at 2-5 GeV in the 
parent electron spectrum, which is itself hard to explain. 

It must ever be remembered that when we look up into space 
we are not just looking at the stars, but are also looking into the 
aether. If we see things which arc difficult to explain in terms of 
the phenomena we associate with ordinary matter then perhaps 
we should take note of the aether and develop our understanding 
of aether science. 

It we want to stay in the laboratory, however, maybe we 
should turn back to page 28 and question Wilson's experiment 
with the swinging iron bar. His experiment really tested the 
effect of swinging the earth relative to a detector on the bar. 
This is possible if you rely on Einstein's principle, w hich Wilson 
did. In an experiment in which he rotated a test specimen 
relative to the earth frame he did observe a magnetic effect. 
Of this, he said : 

The current appeared to be due to residual magnetism in the iron 
case, which could not be got rid of. 

This was in spite of the fact that he rotated the specimen about 
vertical and horizontal axes. 

Relativity killed Wilson's experiment, just as: 

Einstein's special relativity killed this idea of the ether. But ... one 
can get over the difficulties of reconciling the existence of an ether 
with the special theory of relativity. 

So said Dirac\ but let us not theorize. Rather let us examine 
these effects which Wilson cannot get rid of. 

* Page 287, February 1!, 1970. 

-'<; P. A M. Oirae, Siiaiiific American, May, 1963, p. 50. 

The Law of Electrodynamics 

Consider two electric charges of equal mass positioned at A and 
B in Fig. 14. Let the forces AF', BF denote the electromagnetic 
field interaction exerted between the charges. The value of AF' 
or BF, as an attractive force, is the product of the two charges in 
electromagnetic units multiplied by the scalar product of their 
velocities and divided by the square of AB. The velocities of the 
charges arc represented by u, v in the directions AO and BO, 
respectively, as shown. 

We now suppose that an external force acts on the system. 
The force will be effective through the centre of gravity of the 
two charges and will be equally apportioned in providing an 
action AX' or BX at A and B. The total force on the charge at A 
is then AX'^AF' and this may be resolved into a component 
AP at right angles to AO and a component AU along OA. 
Similarly, the total force on the charge at B is BX - L BF and this 
may be resolved into a component BQ at right angles to BO 
and a component BV along OB. 

The nature of the force component BV is that needed to slow 
down the charge at B, since we assume its speed is changing due 
to the interaction effects. Then, for there to be no turning action 
on the system as a whole, this force component must have a 
counterpart at A. Hence, we equate UX' and BV. Similarly, for 
speed changes at A there is the force component AU which is 
balanced by the force VX induced at B. 

Given the positions of A and 3. the interaction force BF, and 
the vector directions u and v. we can then derive the value of the 
force AX' or BX from the geometry of Fig. 14. To find the force 
on B, draw FQ in the direction opposite to u, determining Q by 
the perpendicular to v from B. Then derive V by drawing FV 
(shown by the broken line) from F perpendicular to u. V being 




Fig. 14 

at the interception with the velocity direction v through B. The 
electrodynamic force on the charge at B is then BF^-BV + FQ, 
adding to BT. 

Note that for action between discrete charges, if u and v are 
parallel then the force FQ' applies at B but then BV will cancel 
FQ' and so the electrodynamic force on B will act directly 
towards A. 


Adams, 76 

Aether, 2 

Aspden's theory, 154, 159 
de Broglie's theory, 72 
cyclic form. 34 
rotation. 11 14, 35-38 

Alt ven. 122 

Altschuler. 9. 14 

Ampere, 77 

Anderson, 67 

Angular momentum, of aether, 58 

of electron. 60 

of solar system. 42 et seq. 

of star. 46 
Aristotle, 15, 25 
Arrhenius. 44 
Asteroids, 52 

Atmospheric electricity, 144 et 

Augenheister. 36 

Babcock, 28. 29 
Ball. 12. 54 

Ball lightning. .Set' thunderballs 

Barnett. 3 

Bates. 125 

Bauer, 138 

Black holes. 19, 46 

Blacken, 28. 29 

Bondi, 6, 101 

Born, 62 

Bougucr. 1 7 

Boundary conditions, relativilv, 
82 86 
diamagnetism. I 1 S 

Bremsstrahlung, 112. 115 
de Broglie, 42,^64, 72 
Bruce, 1 2, 13 
Biichel, 20 

Cavendish, 17 
Ccrenkov, 96, 114, 115 
Chadwick, 67 
Compton. 151 
Conklin, 158 
Cook. 157 

Cosmic radiation, 49, 67, 158 
Coulomb's law. 73, 129 

Dauvillier, 44 
Descartes. 3. 18, 19, 22 
Diamagnetism, 1 17 et seq. 

Dirac. 60-72, 92-99, 125, 160 
Doolittle, 55-57 

Earnshaw, 87-90, 94 
Earth's electricity, 144 et seq. 
Earth's magnetism, 26-29, 36 

reversals of. 53, 156 
Earthquakes, 9, 13, 23, 31, 36 
Einstein. 3, 24, 31, 65, 84, 86, 99 
Electrodynamic law, 73 et seq., 

119. 161 
Electron. 65 

radiation, 68, 95-97, 102, 115, 
133, 147 

size. 99 

spin. 60, 64, 70, 117, 125 



Eotvos, 54 
Erasmus, 3 

Exclusion principle, 70 
Expanding universe, 44 

Faraday, 1 1 9 
Fermi, 67 

Ferromagnelism, 26, 123-27 
Feynman, 102, 132 
Fitzgerald, 75 
Franklin, 8, 30 
Freeman, 20 
Fremlin, 76 

Galileo, 3, 15, 16 
Galle, 54 
Gauss, 89 
Gilbert. 25. 26 
Goudsmit. 64 

Gravitational collapse, 19, 21 
Gravitational theory, aether, 18 

Aspden's, 127, 143 

electrical, 17, 19 

Fitzgerald's, 58 

New ton's, 16, 55 

Potier's, 131 

relativistic, 6, 20, 57 
Gyromagnetic ratio, 60 

Hea\iside, 100 
Heisenberg, 3. 24, 129 
Helmholtz". 19, 22, 80 
Hcrschel, 12 
Hoyle, 6, 101. 128, 132 
Hyciromagnetism, 26 

Inertia, nature of. 102 et seq. 
Inertial mass. 54. 108 

Jaggi, 124 
Jeans, 43, 44, 88 
Josephs, 101 

Kant, 47 
Kepler. 16 

Langevin, 75 
Laplace, 20, 21, 44 
Leverrier, 54 

Lightning, atmospheric, 8, 9, 31, 
36, 145 
cosmic, 13, 151, 152 
Livens, 133-35 
Lodestone, 24 
Lorentz, 83-85, 94-97, 119 

Much, 78, 100, 102 
Magnetism, 1 10 et seq. 
Mass, 100 

Maxwell's theory, 84, 95, 96 
Mercury, 55 

Michelson-Morley experiment, 

Millikan, 67 
Mills, 14 
Mossotti. 17 

Narlikar, 128, 132 
Neutron, 67 

Newton, 3. 16, 20, 71, 72 
Nordenson, 4, 32 
Nuclear theory, atoms, 139 ct 

sun. 12, 155 

thunderballs, 10, 11 

Ohm's law, failure, 124 


Page, 76 
Pauii, 3, 24, 70 
Perihelion anomalies, 56, 
Planck, 65, 115 
Planets, formation, 
perturbation. 54 
Poincare. 44. 75 
Poisson, 89 
Positron. 65. 67 
Potior, 131 
Poynting's theory, 
Priestley, 30 
Proton, 67 



Rabe, 57 

Relativity, 4, 5, 33. 82, 98 
Ritchie, 10, 14, 39 
Rochcr, 30 
Runcorn, 26, 29, 35 
Ruderfer, 158 

Schonland, 8, 10, 13, 39, 152 
Schott, 97, 132 
Schroedinger, 65 
Schuster, 28 

Schuster - Wilson hypothesis, 

28-30, 36, 49, 51 
Sciama, 101 
Scott, Dana, 61 
Scott, W. T., 87, 90 
Silk, 46 
Simpson. 146 
Sommerield, 114, 115 
Stability, of aether, 88 

electric charge, 92, 143 

gravitational, 20 

nuclear, 139 
Stars, collision. 44 

inverted polarity, 67, 68, 156 
Stedman, 129 
Stevinus, 15, 16 
Stix, 152 
Strnad, 76 
Sucksmith, 125 
Sun, energy, 12, 19, 68. 146 

formation, 21, 41 et seq.. 155 

magnetism, 28, 29 

ex 165 

pulsations, 52 

radiation. 147 
Sunspots, 12 
Swann, 149-51 

Thiessen. 29 
Thomson, 104 

Thunderballs, 9, 10. 38-40, 153 
Thunderbolts, 2 
Time, dilation, 32 

universal, 35 
Trouton-Noblc experiment, 73 
et seq. 

Uhlenbeek, 64 

Van Vleck, 117, 122 
Venus. 5 4 

Verounet. 34. 41-43, 80 
Von. Klu her, 29 
Vortex theory, 137, 138 
Vulcan. 54 

Watson. 46 
Weber. 17. 19. 27 
Wheeler, 102, 132, 138 
Whitehead, 1 
Whittaker. 75, 100 
Wilson, 28, 145-47, 160 
Wright, 46 

Zollner, 17, 19, 27 



The book follows the author's 'Physics without Einstein' published 
in October, 1969. It is an attack on those abstract philosophical 
dogma which are impeding the development of physics. Also, the 
author records progress made in expanding the physics of the earlier 
book, particularly on the formation of the solar system, the stability 
and structure of the atomic nucleus, and the periodic reversals of the 
earth's magnetism. The treatment is deliberately non-mathematical, 
inasmuch as a basic comprehension of the universe need not be 
founded in mathematics. It is shown that the aether has to be 
revived for complete understanding of physical science. 

A mathematical extension of the new ideas presented in this work 
will be published separately under the title of 'Aether Science Papers' 
and will be available from the same publishers. 



'An extremely well-written and challenging hook which should he 
read hy all physicists' as lib book list, U.K. 

'The reviewer welcomes this new and stimulating challenge of the 
orthodox views of modern physics . . . well-written . . . a bargain.' 


P.O. Box 35, Southampton, England